Thursday, January 28, 2010

There was a time in my life when I was hesitant to pursue the work I do further than I had already. Too deep into one thing. Too committed. Don't want to get too invested in all of that. Like everyone I assume, I see my life as an epic narrative, and settling into a career in human services, or social work, or whatever you want to call it- might not offer me the full array of experiences due a young Viking warrior. I don't know who you are in your epic narrative, but I am a fucking Viking.

On the other hand, I was getting pretty sick of carrying a bunch of lousy food to all those crappy people when I wasn't out questing or berserking. Still, I was intrigued and fascinated by what goes on at the edges of society where people have no luxury of being fake or maintaining pretense. I could provide some kind of support to keep them together when their world is falling apart. Something like a tuna sandwich. Shoot some hoops, make some phone calls, watch Men in Black again. I knew I was going to continue, but part of me, the part that finally crossed the Mississippi river at 23 years-old, wanted something more. That me wanted some kind of insurance policy that it would be an okay decision.

That's when my English degree finally earned its keep after all those rotten tables and I remembered this...

I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in a big field of rye and all. ... Thousands of kids, and nobody big at all, nobody big but me. And I'm standing on the edge of this crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to come and catch them. If they start to fall ... and don't look where they're going. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.

...and I thought, "If it isn't what you are supposed to be doing it's good enough for now."

Thanks J.D.


Palako Tranquilo

Man, what beautiful weather we are having these days. The air is soft and quiet, the sun shines, and all the little plants that got torched in the freeze are making another go of it. In principle, I do not subscribe to the "everything happens for a reason" school of thought, much less the "silver lining behind every cloud" contingent. I can't get on board with that at all. I am more aligned with the "Things fall apart" school of thought- the "rust never sleeps" crowd.


Tearing a hole in my leg at the gym has been kind of good for me. Something needed to slow me down. I do good when I'm on a schedule. Although I resist and complain, always willing to abandon common sense in favor of late nights and great conversation, I am a "Wapner 4:30" kind of guy. Routine calms me.

Fearful of the MRSA virus which no doubt lurks in that septic tank of a gym I became nervous about the redness and swelling surging away from the laceration. Now my tetanus shot is up to date (whatever that is) and I've got some bacteria hunting drugs. I usually let my body scrap it out with all invaders, but this is the gym we are talking about. Those places are filthy. Besides, the real benefit to the drugs is that it puts me on lockdown. No drinking allowed. That means no late nights, empty calories, or squandered loot.

All I have to do is stare out the window and wait.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Death comes to the Ponderosa

I guess it is two' fer Tuesday around here, but I can't let this pass without recognition. The last of the Cartwrights has passed away. Pernell Roberts, aka Adam Cartwright, is gone. The Ponderosa is silenced forever, as none of the brothers had children as far as we know. There wasn't a lot of dating on Bonanza, although Lord knows Hoss yearned for a girlfriend. I became a fan of Bonanza while living in Barecelona. The Cartwright family taught me to speak spanish. I have mentioned this before, so you two readers who remember it can forgive me. Every day at lunch I would sit down with a tuna bocadillo to watch Bonanza and follow along with their overdubbed dialogue. Eventually, the stucco guys working on the scaffolding outside got intrigued by the show and they would troop through my fourth floor window, lunch pails in hand and we would all crowd on the couch and watch the forthright Cartwrights make their mark on the west. The stucco guys called me "Bonanza." I liked that.

With the easy storylines and three new language coaches my spanish progressed rapidly, and I am proud (orgulloso!) that I retain a good bit of it today.

CNN had this to say about Pernell Roberts.

Roberts, a native of Waycross, Georgia, spent much of his adult life "pursuing his dream of equality for all," according to a family statement released by his lawyer, Richard Stone. Roberts walked alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama, the family said. "On the set of 'Bonanza,' he protested the use of all-white crews and guest stars, finding some support but never enough to satisfy his sense of outrage," the statement said.

R.I.P. Pernell Roberts, aka Adam Cartwright- borderline outlaw on and off set.



I had an accident at the gym the other day, and no, it was not in my pants. I was showing a friend how to use a machine and in demonstrating the importance of a safety feature I sent myself into a world of pain. There was not much weight on the device so it only chewed a divot out of shin, rather than chop my entire leg off.

I passed on stitches, mainly because it seemed like a terrible way to spend a Sunday afternoon, so I went with the DIY method. I think I'm going to live. I don't want to get a dose of the MRSA or the leprosy though, so maybe antibiotics and a tetanus shot would be a good idea. When I suggested this to S'quatch he laughed at my mincing and dandy ways. I suppose he thinks I should rub dirt in it, or roll around on a rest stop bathroom floor to toughen my immune system?

I'd post a picture, but it might not do the injury justice and then I would have the ridicule to deal with along with the blunt force trauma.

The lesson here? The Gym sucks.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ponder the primates

My left crank arm sheered off my bottom bracket on Friday and that ain't code. With the Titus Racer X admitted to ICU down at Joe's Bike Shop I can relax- take that mountain bike monkey off my back for a couple of days. I wanted to focus on my road biking more anyway. My cruiser riding? Hackey sacking? Sport Tree Climbing? Anyway. I do things besides ride a mountain bike. Lots of things.

Speaking of sport tree climbing, or arboring, or tree-peaking- the Hogtown heroes were out on the Silver river last week bagging crowns when the Mayor of Hogtown himself snapped this picture of one of the Silver River Monkeys.

This is true, actually, and not some BRC lie like the other 380,000 words in this blog. There are wild monkeys in Florida. I've not seen them yet, and I'm not sure I want to see them. Look at that thing. That's a Bull Rhesus right there. He could tear your thumb off.


Friday, January 22, 2010

The Silent Treatment

I feel like we never talk anymore. That's OK. Silence is golden.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I woke up yesterday to a morning so soft and warm and beautiful that I immediately felt at least 6 weeks younger. Rather than shuffle across the hall to the home office in my Teletubbie suit and spend the day saving the world, I switched into Power Ranger mode and put on some lycra. The next thing I know I'm pedaling to work! That's right, all the way across Myers park to the satellite office! It is at least 4.5 miles if it is a foot. With that sort of motivation I just might stand a chance.

Of course it is grey/gray and foggy now and I am back in the fleece papoose writing to you folks, sooooo, we'll see what happens.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Fresh Tracks

Although we enjoyed some snow in Florida recently, it was far from a fresh powder day. Around here it is rain that brings perfect riding conditions in the Forest. The trails were so epic yesterday even I rode my bike.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

One bullet

I have been worried and sad about the devestation in Haiti, but that's all over now that I see former U.S. President George W. Bush is on the case with his new buddy other former U.S. President William J. Clinton.

Maybe this is W's chance for a Katrina do-over? My favorite part of the interview I saw was when Bill used the word "diaspora" and W's eyes narrowed susupciously, as if he thought Bill might have called him a nasty name.

Oh well, good for Haiti. They must be relieved.

Meanwhile, it is still raining this morning in Tallahassee, making it something like a consecutive 40 hours of water. That means one thing- Munson & Twilight as soon as it let's up.

I do apologize for the politics, but I can't help it. Sending W to a disaster site is like letting Floyd Landis guard the medicine cabinet. Buuurrrn!

just kidding, I know Floyd is innocent.


Friday, January 15, 2010

On Tour

Calm down Wrecking Ball we aren't talking about the glory days. This is just a pic I took of me and the boys on a recent ride. As I get to thinking about this latest comeback which is really more of a stayback since I never came back from the last attempted comeback, I thought I might need some variance in my training plan.

I love our trails and I plan to ride them all in the many ways that keep them interesting: forward, backward, one shoe off, rear shifter on left side of the bar, gravy in the Camelbak, you know- the regular stuff. I also thought some destination-minded tours of T-town might also be a nice way to reacquaint myself with town and climb an unknown hill or two.

One idea is a tour of all the homes in which I've lived. That would take me from the far-flung backwoods of Gem Terrace to the tony reaches of Livingston Road.

Equally exhausting is a tour of all of my former employers. That would take a while and involve a lot of restaurants.

What other theme-based rides can you envision?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Basic Needs

A nice quiet day for unpacking. The air is calm. The sky is gray, or grey if you prefer. I think this unsettledness is my problem. How can one focus on lofty, upper pyramid goals like bike rides when such low and humble needs like furniture are not stable? One cannot, I assert.

If you ever want to see Juancho ride again, then tell the universe to send him a couch, preferably sectional, with no biological stains.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Facts

Ice protruding from Camelback valve.

Backyard ice art.

Snow on the barn- Reddick, FL.

This guy already knows he is definitely not finishing the 50. He deeply and sorely regrets leaving his cold icy pallet on the tack room floor in Reddick, FL.

He was unnerved by the snow covering the ground in Central Florida. He anticipates there is nothing in those woods for him but certain death.

He is still gambling on the possibility that one of the other dudes will blink first. They don't.

He doesn't know that soon his pants will be full of ice water from his leaking Camelback. He certainly doesn't realize that water will freeze to his butt.

Within 20 minutes of this picture being taken this guy's feet will freeze into blocks of wood, his fingers will turn to frozen chicken wings.

He knows he doesn't really want this very badly, he's not really sure how he came to be here, in this field, on this dark and bitter morning.

He is absolutely certain that the day will not end well.

It only took him 15 miles to realize he could do something about it.

See you next year San Felasco!


Friday, January 08, 2010

Happy Elvismas

Happy Birthday to the king. He would have been 75 today. If you are not a fan, keep your fat Elvis jokes to yourself. Fat or skinny, you aren't worthy to carry his feather boas or dab the sweat from his iconic brow.

I'm going to take inspiration from his 1976 Comeback Special and rock the San Felasco tomorrow. Be it black ice or snain (what up Jill!)I'm going to push those pedals for as long as they let me.

have a good weekend-


Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Today is the day of the Epiphany. It marks the day the world realized that Jesus was the Son and three kings walked their butts off to check it out. Now we use the word to describe a moment of realization and awakening as in...

Holy Shit I Never Should Have Signed Up for San Felasco!

So screwed- Juancho

Sunday, January 03, 2010


The temperature on Saturday morning is expected to be around 24 degrees in Alachua, FL. That is why I am looking forward to a short, brisk ride to lunch at the Tour de Felasco before I head off to a fun afternoon of shopping with one of my favorite girls, Ma Ingalls. I have gift cards and coupons burning a hole in my chamois. The shame of failure has long since left the building and I expect it will be a miracle if Pa Ingalls and Tommy can even get me out of my tent, let alone find me Saturday morning for our customary 5:30 A:M breakfast call. If I were them I would try the Microtel Inn at the 484 exit. I will be in the room behind the No Me Moleste sign.

This is Florida. We aren't geared up for 24 degrees. I'm going to have to wear everything I own. I will look like a Teletubby. How embarrassing. I am going to carry a bucket of fried chicken just to keep up with the caloric needs of maintaining a normal body temperature.

Reality has come a calling. Good God. What have I done?