5.30.2021

Cicadas... They're Here!!!

 


Cicadas... They Are Here!

it is intriquing 
the cicadas evoke a strong emotion
there are clearly two camps
people either love them or hate them

me... 
I LOVE THE CICADAS!
the whole process is so fascinating to me
nature and all of its splendor right in front of us
a lifecycle as curious as that of the Butterfly or the Jellyfish

this is the year of Brood X
the Year of the 17 Year Cicada

in much of the Mid-Atlantic these interesting little creatures are waking from their 17 year slumber and crawling to the surface
all over there are hundreds and hundreds of little holes revealing the path that the individual cicadas crawled from beneath the surface to then climb up trees and molt into the next stage of their lifecycle

MAGICAL!
or at least curious or fascinating!



each day as I walk my dog I try to better understand the pattern of these curious creatures
where are the greatest concentration of cicadas?
do they like the deep forrest or the neighborhoods?
where do they thrive?
where do they suffer?


the song or songs?
to me... that techno chorus that hums high in the sky and in the background of our day is awesome 
to me it is wonderful 
it amuses me the great number of people who do not care for this spectacular event 

it is the marvel of nature 
there are far more benefits than harm

what? too noisy?
what is the worse that happens... you need to wipe your feet before going in the house because you may have crushed a few? maybe you might need to sweep your sidewalk or patio?

I say... if you do not care for them... just give them space
they will be gone soon enough 


as said...
I am of the camp that is intrigued by the cicadas
excited by the cicadas
amused by the cicadas

to me this is a wonderful event to experiece
something to mark time with
something to yearn to experience again

hopefully I will be alive in 17 years to experience this phenomena again! 

Cicadas are benign...
harmless to humans!
harmless to our pets!
and a huge benefit to the world they exist in 
their crawling out of the ground will create ways for air, water, and maybe even seeds to go into the previously compressed soil
the cicadas are food for the animals around us
allowing birds to focus on the cicada snacks... perhaps allowing other insects and plants to thrive as they are less of a concern
and then the bodies
the bodies are rich in nutrients and will fertilize the soil when they die
it all seems good to me

Cicadas are here now... but soon they will be gone!
so... if you love them... love them while they are here!
if you hate them... just ignore them... they will be gone soon enough!

here is a great video




The Doors and The Shed...

 


the shed in the back yard needed some TLC
there was a massive hole in the roof
and... well...
the shed was too small for much more than the lawn mower and a few tools...

there was an incomplete foundation set for a larger foot print for a shed
so... I figured instead of just fixing the shed's issues
I would increase the functionality of the shed by increasing its size!

an old friend had posted on Facebook about a shed project he had just completed
we talked... he said that he could help me with my shed for pizza and beer
estimated two weeks... well... has taken longer than two weeks
but has not cost me much more than pizza and beer
things are really moving along 

not moving along as rapidly as I would like
but I think that is the nature of construction
build estimates for time and cost are usually lofty ambitons
things tend to take longer and cost more than anticipated

this project is no different...
sure... coating the exterior in doors has saved a buck
yet there are still many building supplies that need to be purchased
and right now... there is a spike in building material costs

this is Memorial Day Weekend... raining now...
would have like to have had a socially distance gathering with some friends by the completed shed this weekend
but alas no... the shed project is still not yet finished
looking great... getting closer... but still pretty far off

which brings me to the question...

Do you have any old doors that you want to donate to my shed project?


QOTSA

 

QOTSA
Queens of the Stone Age

there is that question... now that things are opening up... what band would you like to see live?
live music does not carry the draw for me that it once did
I still like to catch a few shows a year
well... pre-covid I liked to catch some live music

Tool was the last large act in a large arena for me

QOTSA

Queens of the Stone Age

Buy Nothing... the best thing on Facebook other than Birthday wishes!

 


Buy Nothing on Facebook

Buy Nothing on Facebook has to be the best thing on Facebook other than Birthday Wishes

Buy Nothing is a Group on Facebook where neighbors put their unwanted and useable good up for grabs by other members in their group
People can only join their local Buy Nothing Group
the radius is only a mile or two around each member's home address

in short... if you live on Capital Hill...
you join the Capital Hill group and not the Georgetown Group
which is unfortunate... I wish I had a shot at the goods from the rich people's neighborhoods

it is interesting... it is amazing...
it is positive... it is fun...

if is fun to give... it is fun to get...

Check It Out!

Unleash your Inner Marie Condo!
Your Trash is another person's Treasure!

Buy Nothing on Facebook



5.20.2021

Cargo Bikes... people are too quick to go to eAssist...


How necessary is eAssist?

there was a cargo bike movement...
and well..
so many of these bikes seem to be moving faster than they need to be moving
especially those with kids in the front

on the bike paths in and around DC there are people shuttling their kids around in the front of their cargo bikes
they are moving along swiftly
everything is fine
until it goes wrong

each day I see eBike types ZIPPING around
running through intersections without any deceleration
not a turn of the head
not even a glance

it worries me...
and then...

the almost head on?

on the bike paths...
the eBikes and eCargo bikes are often the fastest moving vehicles on the trail
passing everyone
going head on always assuming they have the right of way

the Cargo bike is so cool...
the eCargo bike... eh... not so much

it is the human power that makes the bicycle cool
if I want a motorcycle... I will buy a motorcycle

here are some previous posts about Adam and my Frankenbakfiet that we build together
https://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=adam
https://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=bakfiet

https://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=frankenbakfiet




 

Visibility in Traffic... I try to make sure they see me... more where I ride than what I wear... but I am not shy with High Viz

 


5.18.2021

Fort Slocum Park Clean Up!

 

most of my clean up in in the interior of the woods of Fort Slocum

I think this may focus on the exterior...


maybe I will pull a few items out for them to haul away

5.17.2021

Second Chance... Baltimore's warehouse of cool old home stuff

Second Chance 
https://www.secondchanceinc.org/

took a field trip to Baltimore with TJ Morton to look at some old dusty stuff...


Second Chance is a warehouse for homeowner's dusty dreams
Second Chance saves useable\reusable home items
they have everything for your home project
if retro is your way
head to Second Chance



looking for old doors and some inspiration for the shed project TJ and I took a quick trip up to Baltimore
Second Chance is worth the trip
even if you have no intention of buying anything
it is just cool to see all this old stuff

it is like a museum of unwanted old stuff
unfortunately... nothing is free
they know what they have
they are not giving it away
unless they are giving it away

and they do have a corner in the parking lot where they give away stuff
I did get some doors from that pile of unwanted stuff



trying to keep the costs down...
if I were rich... if I won the lottery
well... 
I would head here and my vision for my shed would morph and change

the old doors
the stained glass
the unique light fixtures
so much cool... so much potential



Hyattsville has Community Forklift
Community Forklift is Awesome
but... you could fit a couple dozen Community Forklifts into Second Chance

Community Forklift
https://communityforklift.org/



walked away without anything on this day
just ideas
just a few more dusty dreams




and yes...
they have doors
if I were looking to buy a door
I would look here before Home Depot
but... I am not looking to buy a door
I think I can get people's old doors for free



eBikes... eBikes are not bicycles

 eBikes...

I really have no problem with eBikes per se
but...
I do find that I have more near misses with eBike riders than people on bicycles
that is not entirely my issue...

one...
the eBike is a great car alternative
but... the eBike is not a bicycle
when a motor is put on a bicycle
that vehicle becomes a motorcycle

so... I just want there to be an understanding that these vehicles are not the same
and
well.. I would like there to be some separation
at least in idea

I can see a thousand uses for the ebike...
parents with young children using the eCargo Bikes instead of their SUV
GREAT!
but... it is not a bicycle

and... 
why not a bicycle?

I get it...
pedaling up hill can suck!
but why not a bicycle?

my biggest grip
the eBike steals a bicycle future
people will migrate from the bicycle to the eBike option
cost and space limitations will force people to make a choice
and sadly... many will choose the power assist of the eBike

I have a bit of an anti eBike stance
it is part in jest
but... it is also in frustration
I see people booking on these motorized vehicles 
so often the cranks are not turning
just cruising at the power of the motor
not very bike if you ask me

is it a fad or is it the future?

the Moped came and went...
what will happen with the eBike?

like sand through the hourglass... these are the days of our lives



Grant is now 17!
AMAZING!


Dean turns 20 next month...
WOW! 
JUST WOW!

so proud of both of these boys...
their efforts and their achievements
both Dean and Grant make me proud everyday!

 

We Are Family...



out front my mother's house in Bethesda, Maryland
 with my brother and sister
from the hair you may guess it was the 80's
my guess.... 1985
me in high school.. my brother and sister in college



this shot is on our front our house in Stone Mountain, Georgia


another shot...
I think my sister had a tripod set up!

GREAT SHOT!

WE ARE FAMILY!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyGY2NfYpeE

 

THE SHED

 



The Shed
a few months back I saw a posting on Facebook
my old friend TJ Morton had just finished a shed project with a friend
TJ was all stoked about the finished project
it looked super pro

this got TJ and I talking 
I asked TJ how much a it costs to build a shed like that
TJ gave me the numbers for the materials
then I asked how much for labor
to which TJ replied, "pizza and beer"

I can afford pizza and beer
so.. I asked TJ if he wanted to help me with my shed project

TJ was available and interested
TJ has a nature that is not often found in people 
TJ likes to do people favors
and
he is a project guy

TJ LOVES A PROJECT!

and well...
this shed is a project






there was a shed in the backyard...
that shed was small and had a hole in the roof
there was a foundation for a larger shed
so- instead of the original 10 X 10 shed
we would expand to the footprint of the 10 X 20 foot shed

going from a pitched roof to a flat roof
and then...
instead of coating the exterior with plywood
we would be covering the exterior with OLD DOORS
yes... old doors


it has been a process...
as I have come to understand
these things take longer than expected
and
I have also come to understand that I am not a carpenter and TJ has knowledge and skills well beyond my abilities

so.. although the build is taking longer than anticipated
TJ is taking care and concern to levels I would never be able to attain

thanks TJ!



so...
the frame is up!
we have a good percentage of the sides covered
and... the rafters for the roof are halfway done
this is all coming together
but...
there are still a few more complicated tasks
the doors... the actual doors and a window that opens and closes 
these things still need to be done
and well...
I could slap boards\doors on the side of a framed wall
but "hanging" doors?
"racking" the building?
well... again... I defer to TJ

Thanks TJ!

and thanks to all those that have donated doors...
trying to only buy what I have to!
One Man's Trash is another Man's treasure!
people have been very generous with their doors

amazing how many new never used doors I have received
doors from 2020 and doors from 1920!



resources for FREE STUFF... more than just Doors...

Facebook has a BUY NOTHING site
I am able to join a local Buy Nothing Group for my neighborhood
unfortunately... only my neighborhood
but that makes for easier pick up!

Facebook Buy Nothing Project!
https://www.facebook.com/BuyNothingProject/

then... FREECYCLE!
https://www.freecycle.org/

and NEXTDOOR!
https://nextdoor.com/

and well... there is Community Forklift in Hyattsville and Second Chance in Baltimore
Second Chance has a section in their parking lot that is free for the taking
they often have doors!

oh... and Craig's List!








The Upshaws on Netflix... Season One...

 

The Upshaws on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/81028174

liking Wanda Sykes and Mike Epps had me thinking I would give this show a try
starting things up... I saw an adult Tootie
Tootie from The Facts of Life
the show with the theme song by Allan Thicke

who is Alan Thicke?
Robin Thicke's dad?


so... The Upshaws amused me
I was entertained enough to enter binge mode and stay up later than my bedtime
things progressed along
mixing comedy with social commentary

then there was a bit of a plot change
in the husband and wife relationship there began issues
there had always been issues
but the issues were bubbling

I saw some parallels to my marriage that ended some years ago
the wife\mother displayed behaviors that reminded me of my ex
the comedy started to lose some of its appeal as it became too real for me
no... I did not turn it off... I watched on

but to see the wife\mother feel resentful of her husband's successes in parenting and bonding with his children hit too close to home... well.. my previous home

it is TV
more than likely... there will be a happy ending

I am divorced and the drama continues

5.15.2021

Check yourself for TICKS after going into the woods...

 


Fort Circle Trail... I would love to have there be some attention to increasing the cycling opportunities on natural surface trails in DC

 



Wash Cycle has some information on this...
and some ideas
I would like to increase the natural surface trails
I have no desire to pave the interior of the parks
we do not have enough green space

keep singletrack single

https://www.thewashcycle.com/fort-circle-trail/

Gwadzilla mentions of the Fort Circle trails 
https://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=fort+circle

bummer... missed the DC screening last night

 



Punk the Capital


Desiderata

 Desiderata


    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.

    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

5.14.2021

Bike to Work Day... in a pandemic when everyone is working remotely?

 Bike to Work Day 2021
BTW Day!

Bike to Work Day

2021 is a an extension of the ever odd 2020
many people working remotely
and a number of people unable to work at all
so...
biking to work is reduced drastically

but
Bike to Work day is happening...
check the web page above for a Pit Stop Near you

scan the Gwadzilla Archives for photos and words of many Bike to Work Days past...

I wonder if it will rain this year for BiketoWorkDay?














the blog... the blog is dead... but I think I need to revive this space to put down some ideas

I miss writing...

I miss photography...

I think that I need to vent some ideas

and well...

the blog is a good place to regurgitate some ideas