Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Everybody knows that if you want to defeat the Dementors you have to have a Patronus, which can only be conjured by thinking positive thoughts exactly when it is hardest to do so. With so many out there strugggling with injury, recovery, and healing right now I want to ask the question, What is your Patronus?

And if you haven't read Harry Potter, or can't get with the Harry Potter program I've got going here today, then God help you, the Dementors are going to get you for sure.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stand Down

Everybody be calm. Try to relax. There's a mischievous force at work in the Universe right now and I think it is best if we all just wait out the storm before proceeding with the regular agenda. As I skip around the blogosphere and the meat world it seems like lots of my people are roughed up, stressed out, injured, overwhelmed, and frazzled. I know I'm on that list.

I think we are all trying to do too much. Too much of everything. I remember when the only place that went 24-7 was my alma mater the Village Inn

Not anymore, now everybody I know wears a dozen hats. Ambition isn't about getting ahead anymore, it is about keeping up.

I don't want that. I want the dock on the bay, the squandered day.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It is over

The summer of 2010 is done.

I will not forget this one. The battlefields are emptying out, and the humanitarians are moving in to sort bones and carry off the wounded. My arm is well on the mend, and I'm picking up my life and stacking my blocks back together. It occurred to me this morning, for instance, that I could go play golf this afternoon, and there is no earthly reason not to other than the Stockholm Syndrome that connects me to this house, my cell of 4 months.

Other friends have taken beatings, and faced up to some scary adversaries as well, yet all remain to fight another day. If you think this is melodramatic, I am here to tell you, there was nothing mellow about it. Summer 2010 will leave its scars.

Here's to the survivors, may fall revive us all.


Monday, September 20, 2010

A Secret Message

I found this written on the bottom of a wooden box I have carried around for 20 years. I was about to toss it out, and found the following message written on the bottom very faintly in pencil. By the mention of Amboy it has to be circa 1993

And when the boy became a man he laid down on his back in the sand and looked up at the clouds, trying to recognize the sharks, trains, mittens, and monkeys the boy had seen and in their place rose the thundering images of the road ahead and the sharks and the trains and the mittens and the monkeys held the comfort of the past and the courage of the future.

He knew all things fresh, which little boys know, and all things sharp of what men know. He folds himself close with the crickets and spiders, geckos and guano, stepping forth with the knowledge of inertia, of reaching into the void and reaping sweet kisses and fear.

heat of Amboy, burning cold of the eastern plains of Montana where the wind never dies. Every day the boy and the man teach each other to smile, listen, and love tomorrow as yesterday.


So, it turns out that healing the broken bone is only the beginning of things. I'm going to have to rebuild this Cadillac one step at a time. I don't want to get into it, after all, it is the internet.

I rode yesterday with my buddy T and his two daughters. It was just about the pace I needed, if a little too far and hot. The 8 year-old (she can't possibly be nine yet can she?) was gunning for me the whole way. To watch someone whom you have known since the hour of her birth ride fearlessly on her tiny mountain bike, red cheeks puffing, talking about "we do it for the pain!" this made me really happy. The other one was content to bob along in the seat behind daddy and chuck a water bottle out to keep us sharp. These were good miles. I look forward to a lot more like that this fall.

I'm not up for the pain, but there is a lot of pleasure to be found out there instead.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


According to legend, the father of one of my friends sent him out into the world at 18 with the following advice; "Remember boy, basketball is for homos and options are for losers." I never figured out the basketball part. I think basketball is for everyone, but the options part I understand. He meant commit to something and stick with it.

I don't know about that advice though, options can be pretty great. I wish I had more options for almost everything. Given the choice between black and white I will most often choose grey.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Not it

What's up everybody? You feeling all right? Everything good out there?

That's excellent. I'm really glad. You know I'm pulling for each and every one of you every day right? I mean that. No, for real. This time I mean it. If I say it again later the current arrangement is to be considered nullified, but at this moment- I believe in you and I want to see you get yours, whatever yours is.

I just want to cover a couple of things before we move on to this weekend.

This grass ain't going to mow itself. It proves that a little bit more each day. I could mow it. I feel a lot better than I did yesterday, thank you for asking. The thing is, I think I have a couple of young entrepeneurs coming by to handle it for me and I see this as a direct and positive action. I see this as choosing an option that yields greater reward. I also seriously hate to mow. It raises too many conflicting emotions. I prefer to just avoid and deny. Like, how am I supposed to be all angry about oil spills if I pour gas in a box and push it around cutting grass which I absolutely knew was going to keep growing? I almost always slosh some gas out of the can too. It seems irrepsonsible.

And yet, grass will be cut.

Some people want things to change. Some people want some things to stay the same.

And with that we return to Wife Swap, where people want some things to change and other things to stay the same. Every single person on the show wants both of those things to happen, just like every single one of us. So what's the deal? What are you willing to do? Most everyone I know including myself basically proceeds along a predictable path. I don't see or participate in a lot of erratic behaviors. If that is true, then what's going to happen? A whole lot more of the same.

Let somebody mow your grass, go to church, stay up past your bedtime, as long as it's something different I wish you the best.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Weeds

That's it. I'm officially buried. I'm deep in the weeds.

I'm even behind in making my list of things that need to be done. I can't remember my old phone numbers or the names of ex-girlfriends (I really miss ol' what's her face) but I remember being in the weeds with playback clarity. At the Village Inn in Sebring the weeds meant ranch dressing spilled all over my burgundy polyester vest and dropping someone's re-cooked steak on the dirty rubber kitchen mats and kicking it down the line (I ran it through the dishwasher so don't go calling the 1986 Health Department.) At Howard Johnson's the weeds meant cramming the spoon down into the blender to speed up the cursed homemade milkshake process, and just grinding stainless steel or aluminum shavings into the shake. I would give them an extra cherry to make up for that. At the Shanghai Restaurant we were never really in the weeds because everyone was happy to be there and if they weren't Alice would throw them out or hit them with a towel. I walked out on the Mill after a week spent in the weeds and all of you who remember that cesspool fondly should have been there to take the garbage out with me.

I could go on, but I'm not even into the 90's yet and there were many other restaurants to follow.

The only way out of the weeds is to ask for help and cut some corners.

It is time to turn and burn. Mingo- get those kids over here to mow my lawn. I'll get started on the corner-cutting.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Los Reyes

My first mountain bike ride was preceded by the visitation of three kings of cycling.

On Friday night the spiritual leader of Bike Church came unto my house and spoke to me of yogic energies and warrior breathing. "It is your body Juancho" he said to me and I accepted this horrible news as the gift of truth.

On Saturday night I was visited by the spectre of Huck Shin, lord of machines. His white and glowing skin and probing eyeball filled the peephole at midnight and he brought the gift of foresight, briefly allowing me to see into a future with me whole again, a complete cyclist. He also brought some beer.

On Sunday morning a great king arrived, King Leon. "I am here to introduce you to mountain biking as I have done two times before." This king spoke the truth as my very first mountain bike came from him. His words filled me with dread and I slammed the door in his face. I tore parts from my bike. I implored him with bacon and pancakes to leave me be. I crashed about the house in a panic to escape.

I have a bump on my head where I bounced it off the curb as he dragged me away by my ankles to ride.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Being the author of a declining online forum that focuses on a sub-culture in a small corner of an unpopular part of the world does not mean you don't have to mow your own lawn. You would think so, but no.

I hate mowing the lawn, and I am also not good at it. When the job is finished I do not look over my work and admire my ability to bend nature to my geometric will. My lawn will look like a haircut done by your big sister with the bric-a-brac scissors. Any plants of asthetic value will be chewed and churned to mulch while the oak suckers and the smilac will flourish and continue their plan to tear the house down.

Let's talk later.


Friday, September 03, 2010

Hands up, chin down

I visited a remarkable place this week in my travels. It is a boxing gym that works with inner city kids who are involved in gangs and gang culture. Although this will sound like a cliche from an 80's movie the first thing I noticed was that while every building around the gym was tagged with graffiti, the gym was clean. The gym is a color-free zone where skin and set color are irrelevant and the only currency is hard work.

One of the coaches told me about being locked up when he was young, how week after week this guy from the gym would visit him, relentless in his message that he could help him be somebody else, somebody better. He said he resisted until he began to miss the dude when he didn't come around, and he would think about what he had said. He described the moment that he just grabbed onto that message and that hope and said okay, I will do whatever you ask. That was years ago and now he is the coach, he is the one who is relentless.

216 adolescent boys and girls work out there. The coaches and trainers don't ask a lot of questions about past as they are future-oriented people. The strategy is work out, do your homework, eat right. The walls are covered with pictures of their fighters, some of them amateur champions on their way to the pros. Everywhere you see their messages, "Elbows in, hands up, Chin down" and "Will you answer the bell?"

I think to myself, "I'm damn sure trying."


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Put on a happy face

Things are really looking up for me lately.

I caught the Atlanta airport shuttle on the first try. I have about 240 degree rotation in my arm. I could play a round of golf if I stick with the punch shot, and the punch is my best shot. Nobody stole my cruiser I left outside in the back yard. The new oil leak in the Gulf is like totally just a small one, and a bunch of troops are coming home from Iraq. I got 23 songs for $9.99 at Amazon dot com and I'm reading a pretty good book right now.

I can count my blessings that the country is only bitterly divided instead of rabidly divided, and the humdity has got to be down at least 4% since last week. FSU will open with a gimme against Samford Baptist College this weekend, and I have a job.

Things have rarely been this good.