Rants on Cycling and on Life


creativity breeds creativity

creativity breeds creativity?
or is it
crafty breeds crafty?
something spawns something

all the fun on the beach with the sand had the link of my hands and my mind working
so after some stories to the boys at bedtime I went down to the basement to finish up a project

we had some work done on one of the rooms upstairs
basically making the room smaller and enlarging a closet
not grand dream renovation
but, more closet space... and ya know what... we all need more closet space

the additional closet makes for additional wall
which has me working to get some images of the kids to hang on the walls

just as I am creative or perhaps crafty with sand on the beach
I am also occassionally creative or at least crafty with the glue gun

took out the glue gun and some of the boys blocks
the boys have lots of blocks
so I took out some of the boys blocks, some basic frames from IKEA, and the glue gun

with the glue gun warmed up and the iPOD on shuffle I got to work

was able to hear all sorts of good stuff
a random assortment that took me from Quadrophenia to Los Lobos bringing respect to the Dead with a cover of I've Got To Move
then the music shifted into the modern world of Electronica
some great Spanish electronica that I had heard mentioned on NPR:montery mexico

the repetitive nature of the electronic music was just what my mind needed to aid the work flow
managed to get some stuff done
heard some great music that had been hidding on the iPod

I managed to finish the last frame befoe the glue ran out
this gave me an excuse to stop this project
so I ran upstairs
there are many other projects started but not finished yet I migrated upstairs
was pleased with the results
would post an image
but blogger is not working for me image-wise right now
do not feel like wrestling it

the music took my mind down various pathways
the blocks took me down another
the simplicity of the project was a pleaure for my hands
the immediacy of the product results were soothing as well
the scent of the glue gun and the occassionally burned finger tips joined to bring back some fond memories of a decade past in colorado

I recall a similar semi-toxic set of fumes
it was many years ago out in breckenridge, colorado
I had gone from the metal edgeless Burton Woody to an all mountain board by Nitro
it was the early 90's
the choices were fewer and the prices were greater
so I had this 165 millimeter all mountain board that taught me to snowboard

somewhere in going all over the mountain I managed to do some rock damage
the damage destroyed the heel edge right behind each foot
I had no metal breaking edge
I also had no money
so each night I would create an epoxy edge
as I could not create the wad of cash to purchase a new board

at the box store walmart down the road in frisco I bought some epoxy
it was a process of two chemical mixing with the compression of one grand syringe
I used duct tape to catch and partially mold the edge
then allow the epoxy to set over night
in the morning before hitting the mountain I would hit the belt sander
along with the edge repair there would also be some wax melted and poured into the large divots and grooves
some grooves down to the wood core
with the dust still in the air I gave my thanks to my friends at the shop I and was off the the nearest chair

always moving on foot rather than waiting for a shuttle I would march to the base of the mountain
trying to get on the mountain shortly after it opens
or pointed to a section of the mountain that had not yet opened I was always ready to ride
fresh tracks on fresh snow
or at least untracked cordoroy

GS turns down Peak 10 or shooting through the trees on The Burn
traversing across the mountain to get to Six Chair after they clear for avalanches
eating up the inbounds stuff before lunch
expecting to grab somepeople to hike Billy' Bowl or The Ballroom after lunch for a good footstep to turn ratio

on powder days the return to the mon-metal edge held longer than days on crusty or cordoroy
but the out of bounds with the hidden rocks, the invisible stumps, and the snow snakes that took the board back to its state of eminent danger
heel side braking danger
a board that I would not ride on a dare at this point was my only riding option
this once proud Nitro snowboard that left the shop like a Mercedes Benz now moved about the hill like an rusty old chevy nova

to be young
to have the time but not the knowledge or the money to fully enjoy it

cycling is a creative activity
mountainbiking is a creative activity
creative activity breeds creative activity
the blog will get to be more creative as I start riding again
my life as a whole will become more creative
more projects will get done
as I will be more creative
or at least I will feel more creative
others may not see it
but I will most certainly feel it
I love that feeling of being creative

I love shaking that winter funk

Fort Knox FIve




popcorn... music to my ears

any of us that cook with microwaves have learned a few things a little bit about the functionality of these devices
or at least our own particular microwave device at home
or at the local 7-11 for others
when we travel we may encounter an unfamiliar microwave

a short while ago I had an old friend over for dinner

some time after dinner we were having desert...
actually it may have been our second or third desert
on top of a few too many glasses of red wine
there was a general concensus that cherry pie was a good choice
agreement was found that the cherry pie would be even better after being warmed in the microwave

I heated a slice

before I could put in the next slice rob stepped in with another slice on a plate then without hesitation he hit the popcorn button
with quick judgement I questioned the use of the popcorn button

to my hasty judgement their was a more rapid than immediate response
the explanation
went something like this..
when traveling we all encounter a variety of microwaves with various functionality and differing interfaces

rather than fumbling trying to learn each interface rob has adapted a system
he seeks out the popcorn button

we all have a basic idea what the popcorn button does
the popcorn button starts immediately and heats on high

it all made sense to me
I was a tad shamed

just this week past at my inlaws in florida
one morning at breakfast time I found myself in front of the microwave with a slice of cold pizza in my hands
rather than being stimmied I went for the popcorn button

the functionality met my needs

later that afternoon I returned to that same mircowave with more cold pizza

just as I was about to depress the popcorn button I spotted the pizza slice button
the microwave
so I hit this button instead
it started with its lights, it fans, its center tray rotation

the read out spelled out sensing pizza or something to that effect

I walked away
and was immediately distracted
a vacant moment passed and I rushed back to the microwave
the microwave was still running
the microwave was still sensing

I realized I was back in unchareted waters

had I stuck with the popcorn button as least I would have known I was on high
then could have guestimated the duration for this this many slices of deep dish pizza
not knowing what to expect remained in the cardboard pizza boxs I took everything out of the microwave
the chicago style deep dish cut into a square pie was awesome

rob is a talented musician who contributes to Fort Knox Five

before he was playing sitar with Theivery Corporation he was a good enough friend to play sitar at my wedding it was beautiful

for reasons too long to share my cable is out
thus giving my first evening in my own house no cable options
so I am watching a movie
every year at this time Fiddler on the Roof is on cable
rather than catch bits and pieces I ignored it knowing I had it at home in dvd form

so with no cable I selected Fiddler on the Roof for background to my blogging
at my wedding rob played a classic sitar noodling (raga?), amazing grace, and sunrise sunset
it is a beautiful song
this is a beautiful story
it is a beautifully filmed movie
wonderful direction to a touching tale
thank goodness I am blogging or I would end up crying

rob was also active in THUNDERBALL

no I am not eating popcorn
but I am drinking red wine
and the bottle is stopped with a beautifull wine bottle stopper that was a gift at rob and vida's wedding

image stolen from this old article


box stores

lots of bikes on the roads of florida
not nearly as many bikes as there are cars
in the scheme of things there really are not that many bikes
the climate and the grade are bicycle friendly
but the grandious SUVs and all the creep cars in the bad boy club are make the roads less than bike friendly

florida is just one big strip mall
I have never seen so many warehouse stores in my life
if they would only build up then they could save some of the natural state
but no
there needs to be a walmart every five miles

it is truly disgusting
and yes
I aided in the madness by spending my money at walmart, checkers, and various other box stores and fast food stands

it is a pity that everyone is so short sighted



have not had the time to ride a bike while on vacation here in florida
have not had the time to go into any of the shops
passed a few
shot a few images as we drove past this shot in the naples area today
on the way to and on the way back from the naples zoo with the kids

great zoo....
except for the cost
a bit pricey
it is evil how the enterance and exit drag you through the gift store
that is just not fair
so hard to be a parent and take a kid through that stuff

I want these trips to the zoo/museum/or aquarium to be about the visit
not about walking away with a toy
we need to go cold turkey
cut off the kids on the museum store purchase
tough as grandma wants to treat their kids to something
then dad looks evil if he refuses it
but it sucks to be at the museums in dc and have my kids drag me straight to the store
sometimes I feel like dean wants to go to the museum to get a toy
he does not get anything everytime
he gets something frequently enough to reinforce this notion

bike snob?

at times I feel guilty for the cards that life has delt me
in some many ways my life is blessed
so many things have just fallen into my lap
sure I deal with the basic bullshit
been to the ER than most anyone I know
but in the scheme of things I am beyond fortunate

at times when i move about with my camera trying to capture photos of characters on their bikes I ignore a large group of the culture

these shots are from florida
but in DC we have the same breed of utilitarian cyclists

the average latino immigrant on a 100 dollar huffy
it is a common scene here in florida
it is an equally common scene on the streets of DC
mount pleasant is filled with magnas and huffys

when look at myself and my assortment of bikes I can feel guilty
my shoes are more expensive than a huffy
my backpack is more pricey than a magna
then there are light systems, helmets, and tools
cycling which is supposed to be this inexpensive option to the car is a hobby that can get quite costly

sure I do some basic dc bicycle advocacy
yes, I donate as much as I can to Chain Reaction here in DC
but still I can not help but feel some sort of guilt for some much is dictated by what we were born into

blog resources

catching up with the words of some of the other blogs out there
on conversationswithmud I noticed a link to DC Bloggers
wondered if I was on that list
was pleased to see I was

good catching up with goclipless and some of his links
got lost in Iowa at some of the endurance guys sites
spent some time in Colorado at tim, timmyp,
and then ended up at Rocco's

rocco is still claiming that blogs are blah

there were many more
but you can get there on your own




New and Improved!

I need to make a comeback


more eye candy from DC

even though I am still down south in florida
I thought I would post something from my digital archive

on a side not as vital as anything else I say here...
this total gym commercial is soft core porn...
they need to have a girl only comercial I don't want the product but I would consider buying an instructional video with that girl in the blue
sorry chuck.... I know you can kick my ass but I do not need to see you working out

I am watching late night television and blogging
two idiot boxes at once

time for bed

ah... killing time on the beach

I must admit...
I get lost in the process of building this crap
if I could put as much effort into work as I do in my play
well, I would be a different person
if someone paid me to blog, ride my bike, and make stuff in the sand
I am not sure if I would enjoy any of the above


sand castles and the blog

in some ways blogging is not entirely dissimilar to building sandcastles
well, at least for me

and well, perhaps these similarities are shared by Fatmarc and Iconoclasst

although I am not sure how active they are on the beach when it comes to sand castles

but I know that we share some similar narcisitic pleasures in the rewards of the blog

when on the beach there are hundreds of people

some people are fishing
some people are swimming

some people are building sand castles

most people are doing nothing

(a metaphor for life as a whole... a blog for another time)

me.... I am a sand castle type
but I also go into the water a fair amount
throw frisbees, fly kites, and occassionally run
and well... people watch.... but we all people watch

when I build sand castles I do it for myself
not unlike why I blog
but... if I really blogged for myself I could store an archive and not post it to the public
the same goes for the building of sandcasltes

there is a certain vanity involved
just as I want people to read my blog and respond to it

I want people to view my sand sculptures and respond to them

no.... I am not looking for a conversation with every lonely geriatric
although the exchanges can be interesting
while most of them are not

I do want people to soak in the sculptures
if gives me pleasure that these sculptures give them pleasure

it also pisses me off when people step on them or intentionally destroy them
while I am more impressed for the most part that the scuptures survive the day

that said....
my two boys are tempted to destroy the stuff I make
sometimes they destroy what I make in an effort to aid me
for the most part they are respectful

tonight when lisa and I took the boys out for a sunset photo opportunity
there were some foot prints on each and everyone of the sand sculptures
not complete destruction
but... some intentional footprints on each and every one of my creations
the sea turtle, the sea snake, the sea monster, the crab, the hammerhead shock, and octopus

I held back my anger and managed to keep my heart rate down

it amazed me that dean responded to the destruction just as I did
at age four he surveyed the scene

then he surveyed the area

his first suspects were the same as mine... the kids skim boarding straight ahead

I dispelled his accusations and tried to explain that some people act without thinking that some people do not respect other people's actions and efforts
then we got on with our photographs

most certainly each and every passerby gave me hard stares as I sat my boys ontop of the various sculptures

at times I felt like explaining to the people that passed that I had built these things and I could destroy them if I choose
but I let them pass and kept about my task

enough ranting and rambling
I lost my point some time ago time for bed lets see if the surf steals these creations and takes them back to the sea at the morning high tide

as far as people being sedintary on the beach and in other aspects of life....
it is for the best
a few men fishing is better than many man fishing
a few frisbees flying around the beach is better than thousands
just as the trails are already crowded enough
I would hate to see the beaches if the square footage at the surf break was getting competitive for the sand sculptors

when people say, "nice job!" as I do my sand sculpture thing....
it is not my job.... I hate my job... I love playing in the sand
when people say, "are you the artist?"
no... it is not art.... it is playing in the sand... it is far closer to craft than art
metal work is the act of a craftsman that can result in art
and to the old man that asked, "are you the creator?"
I refrained then from saying... "yes... I am the creator... of all that is seen and unseen"

to keep you coming back

it is true
I am a blog whore
I claim I blog for myself
but I also blog to be heard

as much as this blog is about cycling
this blog is about me
and honestly... my kids are far more important to me than cycling
that said
abandoning them on semi-frequent Sundays to go mountainbiking does not mean that I do not love them
as there is enough love for my kids and my bikes

after I ride/after I race I feel more complete
so when I get home even if I am burned out or broken I still have time for my kids
the level of this could be stressed by my slowing to tell them what happened at Michaux last season when I destroyed my index finger
as I unloaded my car I paused and hung out with my kids and their friends
showed them the carnage
then went to the ER

the same happened when I dislocated my shoulder
only I was in greater pain and in more of a rush
which is odd... as my shoulder was no longer dislocated as I reduced the dislocation myself
while the afternoon with the finger... my finger was still broken and dislocated

there is some selfishness
as a hug from my boys is a very powerful painkiller

leave a caption

seeing this brought many things to mind
I kept them to myself
as I did not want to make fun of the kid

but I heard they played Trivial Pursuit, had a Spelling Bee, and played a game of Go Fish
sources say that Bush claimed to have let him win


bike culture in florida

the temperature and the grade in florida is perfect for all aspects of cycling
during my vacation I have witnessed some awesome bicycle culture
there have been group rides on the road
countless toothless rednecks with "dui"s keeping them from driving
saw a cruiser with ape hangers
the variety continues
would love to show more
but... I am not a phtotgrapher and I lack a photographic memory

kill your television

I think that the KILL YOUR TELEVISION people lack cable
just been watching some Comedy Central
The Mind of Mencia and John Stewart are almost enough to justify my yearly cumulative cost
toss in the Sopranos and and some Senfeild reruns and the price is fair

I wonder... do these Kill Your Television types live without a tv?
as a parent of small children I hear parents get onto an anti-television soap box all the time
without hesitation I stop them before they get too deep into their speech
as I try to make it clear.... this is like being vegan, being vegetarian, and being normal
you can not be vegetarian and well... have an occassional burger
too many of these people claim that their lives are television free
when there are aspects of television in their life all the time
are dvds counted as television?
how about when movies are watched on a laptop? does that count?
television is actually the box in the house... not the stations and the programing
if your kids are watching VHS tapes of your wedding... they are watching television

it is not if they watch
it is what they watch and how much...

I have heard some people tell me that they do not have a television in their house
it all sounds like a good plan
then I step back and look at their family and their kids
are they the dream family?
are their kids eveything I want my kids to be?
usually not

I am from the school that if you eat your vegetables you can have some desert
my boys are healthy and active.... if i toss in a little idiot box from time to time...
I think it is okay
they seem to be doing okay

I think that they would have ADD with or without the fast edits of the action films of today

I stole that image of the other idiot box.... the computer
but it is not the computer that is evil... it is the Internet

video games?
si or no?
there are advantages and disadvantages to sheltering your kids from these things
as a child I was often in the dark about pop culture concepts as I was limited to certain programs on television
all the kids were talking about the Bee Gees and Welcome Back Kotter
while I only knew the complete Neil Diamond and Little House on the Prairie
okay... I got to watch the Waltons too


camera.... cameras.... and credit cards

several months ago there was an incident where a man took my camera
an odd urban encounter
it was one of those happy accidents
well, kinda sorta
the removal of that camera forced me to start using a far superior camera I had purchased a few months prior
but had on the shelf as it was still in the too nice to use stage

the new camera proved to be far superior
the old camera had its value
it was small
beyond small... it was james bond compact
but it had a serious digital delay
the lens stuck half open at times
guess it had been dropped a few too many times

so, I started to use the righteous Panasonic Luminex FZ30 with great pleasure
while my wife was hesitent
it is large and somewhat awkward
not to mention nice and expensive
she found herself in a situation where she was not taking photos very often as she was not comfortable using that camera

upon our landing in florida we went to get our bags
with a slap to my forehead I exclaimed to lisa that I had forgotten the camera
neither of us were pleased
as proud parents we appreciate the pleasures of documentation
we agreed that we would need to get a small point and shoot while on this trip

a few days into the trip we took an evening drive to the nearest walmart
it was not an easy affair
12 dollar swim trunks
a wide variety of sock choices
and all sorts of purchasing options that we just don't have in the city distracted me

once finally in the electronics department I was overwelmed

the choices were vast
so I centered in on a price point.... sub two hundred
after a gig SD card that was roughly 150
there were multiple options in that range
after much comparision and some discussions with some strangers I did some Ennie Meenie Minnie Mo
walked away with a 4 Mega Pixel Vivitar

the next day we started to use the new camera
frustrating to fall back on the digital delay
but response time comes at a price
in the end we were happy to have a camera
especially a camera that we felt comfortable bringing to the beach and doing all the things we would do on vacations such as this

two days into the ownership of the camera I was moderately comfortable with the basic functions
when going to take an indoor shot the flash did not go off
I tried to go the settings
even got out the manual
everything worked except the ability to access the flash options
the camera was stuck with the flash set to off

so it was another drive to walmart
first a long wait in the service department line
there were more distractions
there were inflatable rafts, sand toys, more socks, some boxer shorts
snacks and drinks
then finally back to the electronics department
there were thoughts of just a straight exchange
then I thought of what a fool I would be to walk away with this same camera only to have it break in two days again
so I tried to find another camera in the same price point

eventually I took a drop in in Mega Pixels and a jump in price
went from Vivitar to Nikon
went from a manufacturer that dominated the 110 market to a company that fights for the attention of actual photographers

in the end I am pleased with the upgrade
have not compared the photograph results
but I feel that the move to the Nikon was a good choice

time to take a look a photoshop and see what the camera caught over the last few days
there have been great photo opportunities
but I can not stop the car for every passing bike
so I snap when I can and cuss when I can't

life is good until the credit card bill comes

physical therapy

the physical therapy continues
it has been many many months since I have seen the physical therapist who aided me in getting my post surgery index finger to work again
I spend parts of every day trying to get this finger to bend and make a fist
it is a ugly joint
the five pins and a plate make it such that the finger will always be ugly and awkward
my physical therapy sessions continue to regain use and repair my shoulder
it is a completely different office and a completely different scene
both practices are proving to be effective in very different ways
the shoulder work outs take time
tonight I hit the gym in my inlaw's condo building here in florida
not many times I get to use that sentence, "tonight I hit the gym"
it felt pretty good even if I am very weak
being chronically lazy I know that joining a gym would be nothing by good intentions and a waste of money
yet I consider it just the same
maybe I could force a routine for at least six months
it would be nice to do some curls for the girls
acutally... it would be nice to ride and crash and not risk re-dislocating this shoulder
the wrong crash would dislocated the shoulder just as if it had never been dislocated again
the key is to strengthen the shoulder such that it does not dislocate in a crash situation that would not have caused dislocation if the joint had not suffered prior trama

another story about grandpa

this is another story about my grandfather...
a story about my grandfather and two boys in their early teens

in the gated mobile home community that my grandparents retired in there were two clubhouses
one in the far left corner of the mobile home community that was filled with alluminum homes that are not in fact mobile at all
then there was another clubhouse that was a bit more central
the central clubhouse had a screened in porch, a swimming pool, a workout room, a sauna, a dock, and a row boat that granted access to a large man made lake
a lake that linked to several other man made lakes
a row boat that may have inspired my brother to row in college and continue to row today
that same row boat that had crust old rotten oars that broke from the oar locks each time we took it out
that same row boar that I pulled out from under my brother ashe stood balancing on the seat as I held the anchor rope standing on the shore

at this dock by the screened in clubhouse there was a gathering of fish
fat and lazy fish that were fed bread crumbs by every grandmother and grandfather that wanted something to share with their visiting grandchildren
well, among this gathering of fish was a big old bass
an impressive fish

we used to spit into the water and watch the blue gills gather then scatter as the big old bass slowly lurched to the surface and snagged the loogie from the surface of the lake

my grandfather would talk about this fish as he was a fisherman
if there was one thing that summed this man up it was his love for fishing
nothing else in his life described him better than a fisherman
he painted houses for a living
yet he would be described as a fisherman before he was to be described as a painter

during one of our long summer visits my brother and decided we would try and catch this great fish
we tried a variety of methods
we tried lures
we tried cheese balls
we tried worms
we tried lizards... yes we caught and hook a lizard all in the name of sport
but nothing attracted the bass
in fact none of these fish could be bothered by food on a hook
as these fish had all been raised on bread and crackers
products that most certainly would not stay on a hook

so the project became a challenge
we grew determined
determined beyond the task of sticking a hook through a living lizard

so we went to the tackle box and pulled out at three prong hook, a treble hook

this fishing adventure was to go into our catalog of epic fishing experiences
up there with catching massive snook, netting bushels of crabs, stringgers of snapper, sheephead, and flounder, sand sharks and sting rays, this giagantic bass was sure to be a story to tell
a story to meet the approval of any fishermen

the exact details of the capture are faint in my mind
it is not clear which role I played
I think I was on the dock and my brother was on the shore
as it was unethical to fish from the dock
with the hook on the line in hand I walked to the edge of the dock as my brother waited to reel in the fish after the snag

like a faithful old lap comming when it is called the big old bass came to the surface as my shadow went over the rail of the dock
not sure if it was the first effort of the third
but the fish was snagged then the line was tossed
as my brother reeled the great bass to shore
without a tug, a pull, or a fight this fish was pulled to shore

I rushed down the dock
jumped the rail
then ran across the grass to where my brother stood with the rod in hand
he gently made the last turns of the reel
then let the fish rest on the grass

a big slimely lifeless fish with a cloudly glaze over its eyes rested in the freshly cut grass
shamefully, immediately knowing we had done something wrong we removed the hook from this less than fantastic fishes side and did as any sportsman would do
we caught and released
the fish moved with the motion of the water
not a rapid dive thankful to be freed only to be caught another day
the fish floated at the top and moved with current created by the breeze

with our hands in the water we tried to wash our hands of this slimey fish

later that day we were back at grandma and grandpa's double wide on bluebeard drive
killing time on the porch playing checkers or rummy five hundred
in walked grandpa
the kindest grandpa a grandchild would want... when he wanted to be
but not at this moment
without hestitation
without question
without trying to read our emotion or our mood
he laid in with the accusation
what did you do with that fish?

it was not a fair trial
there was no body
the fish has certainly floated away to a distant part of the lake by the time he "happened to pass by the dock"
yet he knew
how did he know
had he been told
could he see it in our eyes
could he smell it on our hands

there is no one to ask
we will never know
just like the thousandth mailbox tilted at 45 degrees
we did have something to do with it
somehow grandpa knew

definitely time for bed now
maybe when I have a second I will try to read these two stories to see if they make sense
that or I may type some other random jibberish for people to ignore

The Mount Pleasant Project

The Mount Pleasant Project
a photo collection by someone from my neighborhood
a photo collection about my neighborhood


on vacation in florida
lots going on
lots going on in my head

been meaning to blog
but the dial up concept is a bit of a drag
on top of that I forgot my camera
my wife has a little point and shoot
but the digital delay makes for a bit of a crap shoot with the results

the cycling culture here in florida has its share of characters
while in fort myers visiting my 96 year old grandmother I saw many images worth capturing
yet I lacked the camera
so I am dependent upon my memory

meant to bring a tape recorder for my meeting with my grandmother
but did not have it on hand for capturing that bit of oral history
as it turns out our afternoon did not have the flashbacks to her youth that I was counting on
the time in the car she spent more time trying to "shoosh" my younger son
then, the time at the bbq rib joint was spent chewing some classic florida bbq
when we returned home all that could have been recorded was the sound of us snoring in tandem
the pork platter knocked me out
put on a dvd for dean
lisa walked grant around the neighborhood
my grandmother and I sat down
we started to talk
then the lazy-boy chair took hold of me
before I knew it we each had our heads back and we were snoring in tandem
guess we needed it

it is always great to see my grandma
may go see her again this week if time dictates such
but I do not feel as if I "must" step away from my family and our beach vacation
as I was down here a month ago for her 96th birthday

while at my grandmother's I saw all sorts of wonderful images of people covering the flat land by bicycle
older types pushing their three wheelers at a slow pace with cargo in the back
rednecks without the cash flow or with revoked licenses moving down the roadside on three speeds
small children wearing a path around the family trailer on their BMX bikes
so much to see
so much worth photographing

these images bring back so many memories
not my my redneck youth
but rather of my childhood visits to florida
every summer for a number of years after my parents moved to florida my brother and I would be sent down to florida for a few weeks to a month
there was lots to do
there was nothing to do

grandma had a three wheeler
grandpa had a three speed huffy
I remember each morning my grandfather rolling down the driveway into the street to go and get the paper each day
I remeber seeing his tall muscular body with a belly that looked like a watermelon had grown inside of it mounting that bike
rigid and slow like most men over 70 he would get onto the bike

with authority he would drop in down the driveway and corner with confidence
his thick head of hair blowing in the breeze created by his own momentum

those bikes offered a great source of entertainment for the grandchildren when they came to visit
the novelty of putting the three wheeler on two wheels was never lost
yet the superior speed of the three wheeler tended to be prefered
we never went far
we just roamed the gated complex where my grandparents lived

the bikes were used for transport
the bikes were used for sport

we rode to each of the swimming pools in this wonderful little trailer park
we rode to each of the club houses that had pool tables and car tables

we created games with the bikes
a favorite game that my brother and I had created was a simple game of tag
the person on the tricycle was released first
while the other person stayed back and counted

I forget what the count was
perhaps just enough for the three wheeler to get away
as it was more a game of hide and seek than actual chase

one time my brother and I were deep in this game of chase
using every inch of trailer park
taking every curve
using every turn to escape the other

I was on the three speed while marc was on the three wheeler
we were riding through a section where the street grid got tighter and there were more turn options
like the coyote chasing the road runner I kept getting caught on a bridge over a creek
while I could see my brother a block away on an alternate bridge over the same creek
with this game of cat and mouse I chased
as I closed in fast on where I thought he was heading I made the turn
there he was
like a turtle on its back
looking to the sky along side the bike on the black asphault road

we laughed
I think I giggled hysterically till nearly peeing myself
I helped my brother up
the set the bike upright
it was then that we noticed that the mailbox had been knocked askew
each identical alluminum house had a matching mailbox with a red flag and a white light
all the mailboxes stood errect in a row
except for this one
this one was standing at a 45 degree angle
we tried to right the mailbox
but it would not stand straight
not knowing what to do we fled

upon mounting the bike my brother learned that the fork was bent
the bike was unridable
we walked the bike home is shame and in fear
once home we decided we would sleep on things before we told grandpa what had happened

later that night our grandfather returned from somewhere doing something
not sure what
but when he walked onto the porch he entered the room with determination
without having time to notice the bike he asked about the mailbox
there must be over a thousand houses in this complex
each having a mailbox
how did he happen to see this mailbox
how or why would he think with such great confidence that we had something to do with the destruction of this property?

it was a shameful moment
we had failed our grandfather
a lump formed in my throat
a sickness overtook my stomach

honestly... I think my grandfather felt as bad about things as we did
somehow we had let him down

22 years have passed since that night
my grandfather has been dead for the majority of that sum
the other day after returning from the Pharmacy with my grandmother we took the rear entrance to my grandmother's mobile home village

as my grandmother gave me directions
turn her
take this left
then go...
I assured her that I knew the way to her house
then I told her that we were right around the spot where we had knocked over the mailbox
grandma got a giggle as she recalled the story

if we had only known then that we would laugh about it later
it would not have hurt so much
yet... in some ways it still hurts to know I let my grandfather down
it was really nothing
but somehow it was a failure of character that we had not approached him before he had approached us

DC Environmental Film Festival

DC Environmental Film Festival
site desigined by

the work at FreeRangeGraphics is worth a look
they have some Flash Animation stuff that is top notch
the topics appeal to me
so does the presentation
I say... CHECK IT OUT!

my bike is a....

saw this around last week
thought it was worth sharing
who knows who has seen what
if a joke/story is funny... tell it to me anyway
I would rather tell you that I already heard it than not get a chance to hear it at all
hear it here

did I mention that I am really sunburned and there is sand in my ear?
as much as I have always had dreams of an Alaskan adventure
I think I may be more suited for being stranded on an island in the South Pacific


(he thought he could sneak that in without anyone noticing... right.)

Escape from Granogue
(man the race season is coming up fast... too bad I am winter weight and worse yet slow)

in reference to FATMARC'S comments to my previous post
handsome, fast on the bike, and poetic

if I did not like Marc so much
I most certainly would hate him

on a side note... I hate dial up
on vacation and struggling with dial up
what is this The Flintstones?
I can hear the squirrels