Rants on Cycling and on Life


MY iPOD Not Only Has a Brain.....
but it has a sense of humor!

Last night when hanging in the basement with my buddy Tom we tangent hopped from topic to topic. Tom drank his Sierra Nevada beer while I drank my Smoking Loon red wine. Our conversation with the mountianbike wheels that he was taking out of my trash heap, I mean bicycle stock pile. Tom was given a history of how one of the wheels had been to Europe, California, Utah, Colorado.....years of courier work and even some beginner races....Tom blanked out and kept his mouth shut so he could walk away with the goods. We leaped from topic to topic stumbling upon the events of the weekend past for him and the events of the weekend past for me. Being that Tom had been emailed my last race report 3 times he did not have to hear my tales of woe and the one second loss more than once this evening, which gave him a chance to tell the tale about his weekend with mutual friend Lawrence; and Lawrence's life on the farm. There was talk about Lawrence as a farmer, a potter, his art, his versatility as an athlete, and of course his creativity as a musician. Tom has been playing drums with Lawrence on and off since high school, when Tom is not helping out with organic farming or bee keeping, they are inthe studio making music. Tom told me of his new 8 track and the ghosts in Lawrence's 2oo year old house love for the mixing board. To affirm Tom that I do listen to the Bells of classics (lawrence's music project of the last two decades) I reached for the iPod and hit the forward button without even glancing at the device. I assured him that on the SHUFFLE function that BELLS OF comes up an inordinant amount of time. After 12 pushes of the SHUFFLE BUTTON there was no BELLS OF to be heard. I resigned myself to its absence. We went back to talking; or perhaps more talking and tom listening....I do have a bit of a disorder that way. The night went on....tom left with his wheels and an earful....sometimes the hook up just does not pay. As it is said.....nothing comes without a price.
This morning as I collected my gear (including 29inch spare tube and 15 mm wrench and multi-tool) and got dressed for work. The iPod was turned on for some background music. There it was...the first song.....a Bells of classic; Cornrows. I smiled and laughed and watched the story and images unfold in my head.
A few minutes passed and I had to grab some stuff from upstairs...upon my return song one was over and done two or three had was Bells of again!

Funny stuff.....

there are those that feel that the iPOD has a BRAIN
and that it does not SHUFFLE
but it learns
it inspires
I like my iPod's Humor
it is the type of joke I would pull if I were an iPOD

the New York Times had an article on this topic earlier this week
an article that a coworker, Doug, turned me onto this am
even before hearing my tale

check out Bells of on the TEENBEAT site.


different BLOGGERS use the BLOG in different ways
some people make one long well thought out post a day
while others just put in a quick several sentence post a day
others host an assortment of links

I on the other hand am a BLOGAMANIC!
my BLOG MANIA is in all directions all the time
as if I suffer from multiBLOGpersonality
some short blogs
other long long blogs
and then an occassional link

Dean's look for 2003

who knows what winter fashion barriers he will be breaking this year?

Boyscout, I am not....
yesterday I tried to do a quick post work ride
often my 45 minute to an hour ride is an effort to leave work, ride, and return home shortly after lisa arrives home from work and grabs Grant from Soledad and Dean from the Rosemount Center
where I usually give a kiss to everyone's forehead and then grab the dogs (sometimes Dean or Grant) and head to the woods
sometimes things do not go as planned
often things do not go as planned
sometimes Chatty Cathy (me!) runs into an old friend and starts catching up
other times the ride takes longer than anticipated
and this time
the combination of a flat tire and meeting with a contractor friend to discuss my plans all took up major time
major time!
the flat should not have taken that 29incher needs 15mm wrench fo the bolt on rear wheel and a large 29 inch tube were in my camel back along with a multitool for last Saturday's race (tale of woe written bellow...the 22 miles ending in a one second loss)
I was over around Key Bridge on the Virginia side
I had detoured onto a dirt trail
what seemed like a couple of hundred yards while rolling on the single speed
turned out to be a tad longer when I walked/jogged back
a strange lesson to be relearned for a well seasoned commuter....
pack it all in their with you
be self contained
there were 26 inch tube and some tools
but no, 29 inch tube and no 15mm wrench
what a rookie mistake!
I walked across the Key Bridge taking in the view of the Potomac River bellow
went to Revolution Cycles on M Street
(no chance that my friends at Big Wheel would have a 29 inch tube)
once repaired I flew out of Revolution Cycles as fast as I had stormed in
zipped up and across town
through various neighborhoods
experiencing a stark contrast between the archetecture, culture, and economics between Georgetown and Petworth and the various neighborhoods in between
the meeting with a friend was more social...he had little input to the plans other than they look good, but you better have all the information and you best get it right
so I called lisa on the cell serveral times to update her on my situation
had she been looking at some sort of GPS tracking device she would have noticed that I was always 5-10 minutes from the house
circling and passing
getting distracted and held up by various encounters....several Chatty Cathy incidents
(hanging with Super Dave at Revolution Cycles....chatting about the permit with contractor Lev, and shooting the shit with old friend Clark who just got a new motorcycle)
the cell phone showed it benefits and I met the family at Lamont Park on the Mount Pleasant Strip
Lisa had her hands full....she had Grant in the backpack, the dogs on the leashes, and Dean was cruising circles around her on his bicycle with training wheels.
I rolled up on my HUGE KARATE MONKEY with its 22 inch frame and its 29 inch wheels
DEAN saw me lit up and challenged me to a race!
I zipped up the handicapped ramp with Dean peadling fast behind me
the dogs nearly decapitated four young boys who were tamely petting them
this scenario was repeated for the next 30 minutes
as the race became more of a follow the leader with Dean and myself and a young Asian boy on a scooter in tow
after many figure eights and zig zagging loops we all pointed for home
stomachs were growling
and attitudes were beginning to surface
Dean and I raced ahead of Lisa, Grant, and the dogs
We rode along side of each other down the urban alleys behind the 100 year old row houses
Dean blew my mind how comfortable he has grown on the bicycle
he was fast and secure
as well as responsive and responsible
we slowed to a stop at each intersection
Dean pulled over to the right hand side of the alley at my request
as we ZOOMED past an old neighbor behind our old Lamont Street house
Tim gave us a wave, I nodded and kept my focus on Dean and our Safety

The whole ride was a rush
downhill all the way
only 4 blocks
we got home so fast that we went ahead and raced down the sidewalk past our house
offering more time for lisa. grant, and the dogs to arrive home with the keys

we went inside
Dean helped me make cheese quesadilla, which we call soft tacos
we talked about our day
lisa fed Grant
then while lisa put Grant to bed, Dean and I played with blocks
it was a good evening
flat tire and all

here are a few rough digital sketches of some logo ideas I did for Mount Pleasant Main Streed
similar to the Chain Reaction stuff
everything was shelved for months and months and then years
when they woke up for movement forward
I had lost interest and motivation
not to mention a change in careers (no real graphic design right now)
and a change in family dynamics (dean is older and on the move and grant has arrived)

at one point in time many years ago Mount Pleasant was a trolley stop
as were many of the other neighborhoods in DC
the tracks still remain under the asphault and concrete
revealed each winter through crater sized potholls are the tracks and the cobble stones


Dean on Guitar
this photo is over a year old
but so classic I thought I would post it

what an adorable child!


More on the DC Bicycle thing...

There are always events and opportunities to volunteer with CHAIN REACTION!
Don't know what Chain Reaction is? Check it out!

here is a logo idea I threw together for them
a few years after I sent it their way they asked me to touch it up for them
but....two kids and no time
was unable to clean it up
oh well
pr0 bono another day

My Man Made Black Cloud...
Although most of the issues that gather together to become one massive black cloud overhead are fabricated by my own actions...this does not mean that the stress is artificial. The stress has been great enough that it is visible from the outside, this can not be good. My boss asked me how much vacation I had left for this year...upon my response that all of my vacation still remains...he said, "you should use need it....come back refreshed and focused." Does this mean that my performance is not peak or does it mean that my personality is less than copasetic? Either way....I will take his advice and try to recharge my batteries. But before I can get a full charge on my batteries I feel that I need to do everything that I can to destroy the BLACK CLOUD that hovers above me and lurks in the recesses of my brain.
On the home front all is well, Lisa and I are is marriage so it can be work and it can be hard, but we are good. The boys are healthy and strong. Dean is growing like a weed, dropping his infant/toddler ways fast and furious; no more fire (pacifier) and no more Linus-like blanket pull up in the day....and soon to be no pull up in the night (to those without wee ones in their world....Pull Ups are the diapers for the bigger/older kids who are moving away from the diaper needs) Grant has become this grand explorer. His ability to crawl is fed by his need to explore. LOOK OUT! Grant must be watched and followed....he is following in Dean's footsteps for being an action magnet which leads to DANGER and DESTRUCTION! Anything and everything goes to his mouth. Today I thought I was being attacked by Hannibal the Cannibal as he sampled my nose.
On the darker side of things....
The deck project is moving forward. Rather than stumbling through AUTOCAD I went ahead and created some Deck Plans in Adobe Illustrator. They are less than perfect, but anything is better than my chicken scratch handwriting and my scraggly scribbles that I call drawings. I will print them them....add to them...and see if I can pay a runner to take them over to the Permit Office. Better to pay someone than to use a vacation day for a stressful day of waiting for my number to be called, and the Permit Guy may be able to help me shore-up the plans for approval. As I am neither contractor or architect....these drawings are lacking.
My big blue truck, the 1984 Toyota Landcruiser has a FOR SALE sign on it. Like a fool with no desire to sell it....the price is twice its Blue Book bids yet. I think that dontating the truck to charity is a better idea. This week I will slash the prices before I make the call to give the truck away!
Soledad is not taking the other nanny job. To our delight our friend and nanny, Soledad, will continue to watch Grant three days a week. What a relief. She is so great with Grant. And always on time and all the other great things one looks for in a nanny!
The SM100 Mountainbike Race is right around the corner. Racing and riding should be fun. But this race is around the bend. I look forward to it. I look forward to it being over. I want to have success at this race, success means finishing (top half would suit me fine but I may have to settle for at all.) This race may be more than I am prepared for, but I have a strong will....and a strong will can carry a person pretty far....hopefully it can carry me 100 miles off road.
What else was there?
There are always more issues in the world than we can see in front of our faces. If you owe the IRS money. You may not even realize it, but your subconscious does. It is a silent invisible Black Cloud, perhaps the more vicious black cloud there is. I do not owe the IRS money right now..but I have so I know.
Selling my truck will be a great relief....then I will no longer have Maryland tags in the my worries will be less about parking tickets and more about the thieves in the night. I get to the tasks at hand
it is not good for my boss to walk in and see this dam BLOG page
he is now cognizant of my addiction
He is a great guy, but he does not understand much of my life.
He does not get bikes and he does not get blogs.....

bye for now

mark your calendars
Bike DC is right around the corner

go to for the full skinny!


Quirky Cousins

Jenn and Annielou are cousins
they are both nothing shy of quirky
not sure if it is independent or genetic
but I do know that it is worth a look
for Jenn her site is about her Ribbon Watch Product
and for Annielou.....well, I am not quite sure what it is about
perhaps you can explain
(annielou has two one and site two)

this evening Lisa left work, went home, walked the dogs, grabbed the boys and headed out to Pentagon City for dinner at Noodles
this allowed me to finish a few things at work and head directly to dinner after getting in some miles
while waiting for lisa and the gang (dogs returned home) to arrive I went to Harris Teeters to grab some of Lisa's coveted Lemon Yogurt that she can not find anywhere in the District
while there the six foot seven store manager followed me around the store...
the store that has self service check out
if I were to beat the system it would not be through shop lifting
slight of hand would do the trick
in any case
it appears that I considered this already
but I have and had not
so I am grabbing some banannas....some no cal flavored water....crap flavored water to be exact....and searching for the coveted lemon yogurt
when I found the yogurt I noticed that this Lurch like character was still somewhere on my tail
oddly enough....
other than being in cycling gear I am not sure what sets me apart form anyone else in the place
I am clean, clean cut, well groomed hair (well, absence of hair) and clothing that is slightly more desireable than you would find at the local thrift store
in actuality I was wearing some expensive gear
cycling gear on the lower body
had changed the gear on the upper some fresh Prana gear my wife had bought me
so in short
feeling well dressed and clean cut
what was it that set me apart from the other shoppers?
beady eyes?
George Bush has the BEADDIEST eyes in the world
and 49 percent of the voting population had no issue with him
I lack beady eyes
it must have been the gear
it has to be the gear
it has to be the shoes (well, the gear)
the helmet may have been on the head it may have been the bag
but what was it?
guess I will have to ask Lurch if it happens again

dinner was good
dean had a blast
a good time was shared by all
there are some good things about the suburbsb


Joe Foley

Joe is a man of few words
here are a few of his words
and some fun links and information

Here is Joe's Cartoons
nothing to do with Joe Foley
other than sharing the same first name


Today is BLOGGER's Birthday
and my Birthday as well

this is a card tossed together by my friend Vida
lisa took the photo while we were in Santa Cruz last fall

sadly my abs of stone are burried under a tub of jello!

Race Report: Fairhill Classic 2004
The Fairhill Classic is well hosted local race with endless twists and turns of singletrack, 22 miles of twisting and turning for the Sport Class and 26 miles of twists and turns for the Experts and the Pros. I have raced this venue several times before and was always shocked at the high speed and high numbers of the racers, this year was no different. In years prior I was beyond frustrated by the singletrack catapillar (otherwise known to some as the conga line,) it can be so hard to get any speed and even harder to pass. Last year my brother Marc had the wisdom to race the Expert Class to avoid being stuck racing the course in a long line of bicycles at other racer's pace. This year things are different...both Marc and I are opting to race Expert at most races and the hosts of the Fairhill Classic have added a Clydesdale Class.
Getting to the race had the usual set of variables to overcome. Getting my wife to sign my permission slip was harder than usual as this weekend was a weekend with a family gathering for our younger son Grant's baptism. Ontop of that my truck's plates are not up to date. And finally there was a motorcycle tour to commemorate the deaths of 9-11 and to honor all who respond to 911 calls. TRAFFIC WAS A BITCH! I sat in my big blue truck without AC, without radio, surrounded by motorcycles checking my watch every two seconds fearing that I was going to miss this race all together. There were moments where I debated with turning around and going home. There were sections of road that were wall to wall motorcycles, all on their side stands with leather clad dentists and rednecks stretching their legs.
Eventually I arrived and registered with 10 minutes to suit up, warm up, and line up. With the newly added Clydesdale Class I lined up with 6 other XL Sized racers. There were dark skies and an occasional flash of lightning. We awaited the race start and rain patiently. As I made pleasant exchanges with my fellow Clydesdale racers a familiar face and form pushed his way through the crowd to line up for the start. It was friend, rival, former NCVC mountainbiker Bill Davis. Before he could get past the line of women behind our class I was calling out to the officials for a scale. Bill was looking lean...well, not lean...but leaner than he has been in years past and this is not just an illusion created by the absence of his mustache. As I continued to jokingly call to the officials to get Bill on the scale, Bill declared his official Clydesdale Status crying out that he weighs 205 pounds. Lucky for him he did not say this race is calling the Clydesdale cutoff at 205. It was all friendly ribbing, just trying to keep the rivalry healthy. In no time at all we were lined up side by side the last 2 of 7 racers in our oversized class. We killed time by filling in each other how life was, kids, and cycling; all bases were covered. It was good to see him. I had heard he was lean and fast and I wanted to see if I still had the edge over him.
When finally the gun went off Bill and I pushed ahead of the pack and raced for the singletrack. Knowing that this course was slightly more lengthy most Clydesdale events I slowed my pace once we were leading the pack. We entered the singletrack and played a little cat and mouse. We traded the lead back and forth a few times, keeping the pace fast. It is always my wish to build some distance from the other racers at the start of the race to provide some space when I die at the end of the race. Bill eventually resigned himself the position as my shadow. We rode fast and hard, as fast as the tight winding single track would allow. The 29 inch wheels have their advantage, but not on this course. I was fearing my head clearing low lying branches and was unable to get any speed or flow in the endless winding, twisting, and turning. At certain points in the race I tried to break away from Bill, but his heavy breathing was always right behind me. I would gain some ground and then get stuck behind a racer from one of the classes that set off before us. Never once was I able to use another racer as a blocker to create some distance between us. As I waited patiently to make a safe and courteous pass Bill was able to reel me in. As I made each pass before I could thank the racer for allowing me to pass I could hear Bill requesting that the racer leave room for one more racer from a different class. The cat and mouse game continued. I felt as if I was controling the pace. Trying to save my legs for future breakaways and what appeared to be an eventual sprint finish.

Not far into the race both of us were feeling the heat and humidity of the day. The rain was sparse, never enough to cool us off, but cool enough to moisten up the roots and rocks to effect the traction on the turns and off camber. I rode slow and cautious over certain sections, Bill fell once, but was not gone from my rear wheel for long. Each of us grew anxious for the end of the course. The game of cat and mouse had become more like a road race or even a pursuit race on the track. Bill was accepting the fact that he could beat me on a short sprint to the finish. I tried to save my legs for this moment. After the first water stop we each started to try and make a move. Bill came up along side of me on some double track, we made eye contact and I tried to pull ahead....seeing that I could not lose him I dropped the pace back to a rational level of exertion. Neither of us were familiar with the course. We asked racers that we passed if they knew how far it was to the finish. Then as we passed spectators at various sections we were mislead into thinking that the end was around the corner. All in all there must have been 3 or four false sprint finishes. The expending of this energy had not only effected my body, but had also started to blur my mind. My calves were starting to cramp and my head was getting cloudy. We each tried to gather in some oxygen for the next break away effort. We picked up the pace as the spectators told us the end was near, neither went for a full sprint as we had already made that mistake too many times before. Then when we crested a small climb we exited the woods and the Finishline was 30 yards ahead. Before my mind could grasp what my body should do I felt an unnecessary elbow to the ribs. It was short stocky Bill Davis thrusting his thick tattooed arms into my personal space. Before I could figure out the reality of the situation Bill was a bike length ahead of me and crossed the finishline before me. The finishline split for the Sport and Expert racers, I went to the right of the queues and Bill went between the two lines. He crashed hard into the plastic ribbons and wooden stakes. It was still unclear in my oxygen deprived brain if I was at the finish or if we had crossed the finish seconds earlier. Anyway it happened Bill had won the race. All the while I thought that I had controlled the race and I had controlled the pace....I was wrong. It was Bill that controlled the race. He accepted my pace knowing all the while he would have enough gas in the tank to take me at the finish. It was a humbling experience. I had been SCHOOLED! There was no great pleasure in the efforts of the day. It was all for not. Bill Davis rival and friend had finished on top....sure someone had to come in second, but I was hopping it would be Bill and not me.
Bill and I rode back to the parking lot together. I washed my bike and showered clean under the hose. I gulped water down my throat as fast as the water pressure could send it feeling my throat expand to take down the great volume of water. In seconds I had several gallons of water in my camel like belly. Once clean I loaded up the truck and went to meet up with Bill. Bill gave me a handshake and I gave him a hug. There was no time for exchanging tales of the trail, I had a wife and family at home waiting for me. and four nephews were at my house, in town for my younger son's baptism. The rain held out until I got back onto Interstate 95 South. Bill offered to grab my second place grab bag for an exchange later this week downtown.
When I arrived home there was no glory of the day to share with anyone. No one could understand the pain and frustration of getting second. I felt empty. It had been a two man race and I had come in last place. Falsely thinking that I had controlled the race was such a humbling experience. I have so much to learn about actual racing. This race was more than likely more similar to an actual competitive mountianbike race than my usual CLYDESDALE CLASS experiences. Sure had there been a few climbs I could have had an advantage on Bill, guess that is a race for a different course on a different day, but a few technical rock gardens would have favored Bill and his skills.

In the bigger picture...the SM100 in this weekend. If I were not preregistered I would not race it. My lack of long miles showed this weekend past. The short post work rides may be good enough training for the short courses of Lodi, Wakefield, and even Snowshoe....but when the race becomes and endurance race I showed that I lack base miles. Wish me luck for this weekend.

if you look closely you will see that Bill Davis is right in my shadow

and again
there he is BILL DAVIS...rival and friend....playing me like NINTENDO!
The final RESULTS have yet to be posted. I am curious to see how we did against the leading CLYDESDALES in this series as well as how we did against the fast guys on the 22 mile course. No real way to compare my times to the EXPERTS, but the SPORT guys at this event tend to be pretty SPEEDY so I doubt that we finished in the top five of the SPORTS especially with the occassional acceptance of the conga line catapillar to allow my legs and lungs to recharge.


"A little advice is always nice" or so the elephant said in that cartoon film strip we were shown in elementary school. On Friday before the weekend I was hanging with a co-worker and discussing my weekend dilema about Saturday's Bike race. In short, Lisa did not want me to go. I was going to go either way, again....Father (things he) Knows Best. Lew (pronounced Lou) got slightly metaphorical with a story and some sage advice. Lew is a slightly older gentlemen with the wisdom of years behind him. Lew told a quick little story of himself and his interests and his balance in life to try and give me an example of how to live life. Lew is a handgun target shooter. He competes, officiates, and helps out at the firing range/gun club. There are events all the time, nearly every weekend and then some. Lew tries to create a balance. In short, Lew tried to impress upon me that as much as he would like to attend each and every event he has to opt out of some events for the obvious reasons. It was a nice little parallel. His advice was clear and crisp. I was thankful for his candor and his ability to give advice through example rather than just telling me what I should do. I listened and I learned and went ahead and did this race anyway.
I do skip races.....I do blow off family and my wife do get me on weekends....
This is one of the last races of the summer....I had not ridden on a weekend since the Snowshoe race and I felt that I needed a good ride before the SM100. So I went and raced anyway....
I live the same balance in my life that Lew does. There are days when a person needs to hold their ground....I understand and respect that lisa did not want me to race. But, I felt that I could meet all the requirments of the weekend even with Saturday's race.
In hindsight.....this time I was right. It all worked out!.

a great weekend

this weekend past went well
a Race Report is to come; it all needs to brew in my head
this weekend's race was eventful in an educational sort of way
waiting to see how my results ranked over all

a great deal of energy was wasted trying to negotiate my approach to the race on saturday
there was a 9-11 motorcycle tribute tour that I got stuck behind, within, infront of
lisa did not want me to go as we had her family in town
in hindsight we found that even with me being gone most of saturday
I was able to spend plenty of time with in-laws and other intown guests
I took some heat for going to the race
but looking back this weekend was far better with the race added to the weekend madness

on sunday grant was baptised
it was a great sociological experience going to the local church, Sacred Heart
it is a glorious building with a colorful congregation
the setting is comfortable and entertaining
it was fun to share Sacred Heart church with family and friends
I am still torn on this organized religion thing
but there are no questions about the value of family and tradition
it was great to get everyone together this weekend
even if my dad, brother, and I bored my father-in-law out of the room by discussing the difference of Lance Armstrong being a professional cyclist in this modern age versus the career of Eddie Merckx and being a professional cyclist in that era
he was more curious about how the Steelers had done

Lisa is Smart
Much smarter than I am
last week Lisa spent her work week at a project management conference downtown rather than at her Reston VA office
she walked away with all sorts of valuable skills
the one thing that she shared with me was this
"we have two ears and one mouth...that is the ratio of listening to speaking that we should live by"
had I been at the conference I would have been too busy talking to hear that said
that is one of the reasons Lisa is smarter than I am, she is a good listener

maybe I should implement that ratio of 2:1 for reading blogs vs. writting blogs

Happy Birthday 2 Me!
Today is my birthday....37 today
for some reason I still feel and act like I am 17.
well, except for the abscence of hair and the addition of other hairs
much more hair on my chest
far less hair on my head then when I ws 17 years old
what I call the Hair Relocation Program
I am still just as ignorant and just as foolish as I was 20 years ago
those first 17 years...
those were the building blocks of my understanding of the world
I may have peaked at 17...I knew things then that I do not know now
certainly there are things that I have learned
it is just that I can not remember them now
maybe I should have started BLOGGING sooner

Dean and Grant are on the floor in front of me
Roscoe and Brutus just rushed downstairs at the sound of the babysitter at the door
the Olympics are being reviewed on one of those morning shows
coffee is in my cup beside me

now Dean is telling me he wants to go to THE RESTAURANT
best we start making the momentum towards his art class/preschool


Music and Personality blurs into a mention of THE IBA
Music is funny. We do not always listen to the music for what it is, but rather we look to the singer before we listen to the song. We are all victims of it. We want our rock stars to be cool. We want to be able to identify with our singers. Then on the other side of the coin...from my earliest memories I can recall judging music before I heard it by seeing the fans who opted to identify with each band and their music. Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, and Rush were all bands that I could not even stand before I heard them. In the 70's growing up they left their mark on the kids growing up. Those baseball tour shirts and the non-running running shoes were too much for me to get past....well on top of that the hair styles and the styles across the board had no appeal to appeal to anyone...except for others within their very odd subculture. Eventually I was able to get past the fashion and the fans and listen to Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead (going to St Mary's College of Maryland durning a crunch time may have opened my eyes) but I was never able to get past the RUSH fans (or Getty Lee's voice and the Ayn Rand psuedo deep lyrics)

What may have opened my eyes to Pink Floyd being cool may have been a flim of theirs...not THE WALL....but rather....Live at Pompeii. Now I see Dark Side of the Moon as one of the greatest albums of all time.

let me hope tangents here....

St Mary's College of Maryland, a college that I attended for 4.5 years between the years of 1984 and 1990. This school had a party atmosphere, right now it has a greater reputation for high SAT scores and education, but before US News and World Reports was ranking it as some sort of Mid Atlantic Liberal Arts Something or prior to this SMC was being written up by Playboy as a Party School.....or so I was told. I have not gone through the archives of Playboy for that information...well....if I have I got distracted. College was a fun time, I recall the campus store selling shirts that said ST. MARY'S COLLEGE and RESORT. I do not think that my college experience was all that different from most people's. St Mary's may have partied more than other colleges, but how would I know...I only went to one college. We drank. We drank a lot. We drank a lot very often, very very often. The weekend started on Wednesday night and ended on Tuesday night. Most of the women at St Mary's could out drink the obnoxious frat boys from Universtity of Maryland. The women at St. Mary's were nothing to brag about.....there were some cool ones...all of them were crazy...must have been something in the water. St Mary's was not only know for a party atmostphere...but it was also known as "a safe place to send your boyfriend." (that is to say it was not known for its ladies) During my time in college there was a subculture of people that existed that I witness from a far. There was a throwback to the 70's hippie culture. The modern world had not hit SMC (St Mary's) when I had arrive. Paved paths around the campus had just been installed, right in time for me and my skateboard. Things were clearly more online with a Dead Show than the Punk Show. In 1985 my dyed hair was more than many of the students could take, they had accepted the "dirt dogs," but were not ready for the punker side of things. But, this tangent rant is not about is about a funny aspect of the SMC Hippie culture that had me laughing to myself as I walked my dogs in the woods this morning.
and this is it....
While in college there was this elite club that hosted parties and formals....they had their group houses which had their off campus parties. This group was called IBA. The IBA was known to be a once school sponsored club know as I Believe in America, but to the students it was better known as International Bong Association. I know very little of the inner workings of this club. But they had some very basic notions that seemed to work for them. Work hard/Party Hard was their motto, well actually it was the meaning of their motto, the actual motto of the IBA was DO B's...GET A's! Honestly, I do not think I could tell you who was in this group and who was not. I could not tell you when their functions were held, or if the group and their functions formal or informal actually ever happened. But there is some great lore in their somewhere. And I thought that the idea should be shared while it is fresh in my mind.

that should be enough for now
just wanted to get that whole IBA thing into the BLOG
I am in no position to document such information
but someone should definitely try to document it
as ORAL HISTORY (or BLOG ENTRIES) may be the only way to get this stuff documented

I can recall playing Ultimate Frisbee on land that is now covered by a building or a parking lot
there were acoustic guitars strumming "friend of the devil"
and someone was complaining because his dog was throwing up from eating his magic mushrooms
I am not sure if he was bummed that his dog was sick
or more likely that he no longer had those mushrooms

in any case.....
it was then in my life that I heard the music that I had previously had distain for
the music was fine
I maintained my overall feeling for Deadheads... most of them were hypocrites and flakes
then again I never cared for anyone who joined a fashion to state identity
I loved going to hardcore shows...but Punks? Never cared for them either....I always felt that Punk was a '77 thing. It was here and gone by the '80s. DC Hardcore was Post Punk.

Lisa and I went to the Bread and Puppet Festival in Vermont a few times....
we always had a great time
always met great people
it was a very earthy experience
but the hypocrisy of the so called Deadhead was alive and well all over the place

it is hard to put my feeling in words

it all goes back to my notion of taking the best of any or all trends and not fully commiting to just one trend to form an identity
be no trends be all trends
for someone to be punk, hippie, or whatever always seemed so limiting

in high school I was not going to not play sports or not dye my hair or not go to a high school dance because it did not fit into some cookie cutter identity that someone else created

I can be a hypocrite
I like to flip flop
I am still trying to figure out adolescence
and I am 37 years old
not sue what I was trying to say
the wine may have clouded my brain


it is around MIDNIGHT on a SCHOOL NIGHT
I must admit that I am up and awake watching George Michael Behind the Music
it is all very amusing
it is all very funny
it is all very curious
(not in a gay-bi-curious sort of way)
WHAM and George Michael had music in the background of much of high school and for a few years in college
the videos, the music, and the dance clubs
George Michael had that sort of goofiness that is hard to explain
WHAM was so uncool, but you could not deny that POP SENSIBILITIES
then when he went solo....
we all hated it
we all loved it
it was there on the car stereo, on Friday Night Videos (cable had not spread to all the world) and dance mixes were in the clubs (and so was I)
I was all trends I was no trends
I was at the punk shows and I was in the clubs dancing
but I never would have owned a George Michael or a WHAM record
well, unless it were for COLUMBIA RECORDS and that amazing ONE CENT DEAL
in a group house under a different name I may have joined and purchased
it was and is an awesome album
then he does some pious bullshit and disappears

by this time in my life I was becoming secure enough in my music taste
I knew it was okay for a straight guy to listen to gay music
there was no longer an issue to say that seeing THE SMITHS on their first American Tour was one of my top 5 shows of all times
so I no longer had issues with liking DEPECHE MODE
who the fuck cares
it is music and it is all very silly
it is completely possible to listen and like THE BAD BRAINS or MINOR THREAT and then to also like U2 and REM
or on the lighter side....Depeche Mode, The Smiths, and the Cure
and then George Michael when Listen Without Prejudice Volume One came out
the early stuff was fun to sing along to as a giggle
(only when it came on the radio, never did I intentionally play a tape, but I did not always change the station...and the videos...when he put the super models in the film rather than him...he hit new heights)

too many people let the msic define them
getting all stuck in a certain genera

back to George Michael, and not the George from the SPORTS MACHINE
now how did the world not know that he was gay?
I think it was clear to me...but how did the world not know....
those shorts in the WHAM videos?
come on
come out
George Michael was obviously gay from day one....

oh almost forgot DURAN DURAN always rocked

the world was a very naive place for a long time
elton john was just a flamboyant rock star?
figure it out?
rob halford was a heavy metal singer for one he could wear those leather chaps
go down the list
it is all so clear now that the facts have been told
the world was a far more conservative place not so long ago
anything different was often thought to be a threat (and often gay.....and homosexuality was considered to be a threat....what am I many it is still considered a threat....anything and everything different was considered Gay.....then how did George Michael get under the radar? ((gay-dar?)))


more rants about nothing
late night after an exhausting weekend
and half a bottle of red wine


he has not been religious about it
but check out REDLACK and his rants
give him some space and some feedback
and maybe he will blog forward and further

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