Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July

Seems somehow in late June or early July this song pops into my head. You can never go wrong with "X"

I made it through my psych class with hopefully minimal damage. Summer short session courses are not a particular favorite. I had about 2 months until fall classes start up. Down time and lack of money. I'm working a little bit more now to make ends get closer together not meet necessarily.

I have been riding a little more. My thoughts of working on the weekends and holidays is good. I get my local trails pretty much to myself. Early morning, crack of dawn rides are cooler and no one is around like on a Wednesday morning. It's been an absolute pleasure riding the Karate Monkey now even more so since converting to a single speed. I thought I really enjoyed the ol' Kona 26er single speed. Indeed I did but not as much as I love this new set up on the KM. Sure I prob have it geared too easily at 32/22 but I don't care, I'm a soul rider, strava can suck it I'm riding for the fun not to compete.

This week after today the 4th I'll sit down to the study hole again for a couple to few hours a day to try to get up on my chemistry and re-learn A&P then do other smaller EMS related things I want to know again. I'll have time now since apparently despite my most earnest and best efforts my immediate family despises me.

Huh? Wha?

Yup, despite all I have done and the effort I put forth I was told unequivocally where I stood by my own mother. With her harsh words still ringing in my ears I decided that enough was enough and let her and my oldest sister stew in their own codependent juices. With those ties severed I am now free to do as I wish with no worry of how I will fix the latest tragedy or repair my oldest sisters (and her husbands) fuck ups concerning our mother or how my oldest sister said even to me "MY mother" which is fine you can have her.

What immediately came to mind was moving back out to my beloved ColoRADo. Maybe going to live close to friends in NorCal or try a new region of our great American west like perhaps the northwest. I have not decided yet, I'm still sitting hashing out all the pros and cons of any decision. In my older age I have possibly began to learn that I should weigh options a bit more carefully than saying fuck it rolling the dice and hoping it'll all work out. It has for the most part from the fortunate combo of luck and hustle.

Now I ride, study and work. If other things like women fall into place even better, although I seriously doubt it.

Now it's time to get on with my day.  Happy Independence Day folks. Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The demon is still in it's cage.

I know why I can't sleep tonight now this morning. I'm taking this Psych 101 class now see and we have to do a presentation over something we covered in class. I'm not one to drone on about fucking Maslow and Piaget. Nah, that's low hanging easy to reach fruit. Not near dangerous enough

Nope, I gotta poke the beast. Rattle the demon in it's cage.

I doing my presentation on PTSD. Those 3 of you who followed this blog long enough now that now well over a decade ago I witnessed a guy blow his brains out with a large caliber hand gun. Yes it's as horrible as it sounds. I won't go into all the details again. The near constant drinking the self destructive behavior, the friendships I fucked up (still so sorry SSK you tried) the women who's psyches I destroyed (MB and TR are among them) the time I lost to it all, that year and a half I tell people "I don't remember I medicated for part of it and drunk for the rest of it" Honestly still somehow I made it out the other side despite my best efforts. It was really a testament to myself to see how that particular shit show was gonna end.

The beast, the demon used to be this big hulking figure ready to send me into a lump of human goo in a hot second. It was a otherworldly figure that would shake me out of my sleep screaming, give me the thousand yard stare in the middle of an EMS call or have me do crazy things just to feel something.  Now a days it's shrunk to small enough to fit in a very tiny cage I keep locked up in a trunk here in the apartment. There are days when I hear it's call and it sends me to the dark hole I knew so well. Hardly a day goes by that I don't think of that horrible snowy morning in ColoRADo where everything I cared for got torn into small pieces by one persons selfish act.

I took this tiny shell of a demon in it's cage put it on my desk and poked at it with a pen for a week until I was ready for it. Then I spent an entire day listening to it hiss at me while I wrote about how PTSD will fuck you up in rather clinical language. The hard part for me to wrap my head around is that I'm gonna be graded on my pain. I'm putting it out there so I gotta be prepared to get smeared with shit I suppose.

I'm up thinking about this, I'm not struggling per-se just hoping that things don't go sideways tomorrow. Wishing once again I had a woman here to hold me talk to me and let me know that really this time too things will be alright. I'm not living in any fairy tale here there ain't no woman to help me make things better. Tonight like nearly every other night I've dealt with this I got me. The person I rely on

There is a woman out there not too long ago that I was pretty psyched about then like the others she ran away. I'm trying to see what the deal is with her. I'm hopeful, experience has taught me that usually when they turn the corner they're gone. I'm exhausted with dating and getting so close to someone so perfect just to have them bail on me. I'll be alone and that will be ok, you gotta take a shot at the goal, just once though with the perfect woman I wanna find the back of the goal. Women are saying that they're ready for the real deal, when they encounter it, it always scares the hell out of them. I guess they figure they don't deserve to be loved. I guess it's terrible walking through life like that.

So much for hockey metaphors in the late spring in a 2x NHL franchise loser hockeyless town. So Be It.

Let's move on to some better news shall we?

For the first time in a couple of weeks I went for a ride. I've been riding the karate monkey a lot because I wanna be on the pain train some. I met a buddy at Dauset and took him around the easier outside perimeter of the trails. Bren is a cool guy and he seemed to really enjoy himself. It was nice to get him out and riding on his fancy new MTB and get it all dirty.

The eyelids are getting heavy so I suppose it's time to fall into a slumber for 90 minutes or so before I gotta get in the mazdarauder and head into the job.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


I missed posting in April so I apologize about that. I was busy getting staying caught up on school and working every weekend. With the mazdarauder's new engine paid for by a now maxed out credit card I've had to work more to make up the difference. I have ridden some more about once a week now always mindful of my elbow and right arm condition easy to not over do it because it does have to last me for another 30 years or so.

I did get the karate monkey converted to a single speed and it's sweet. I had to adjust the singlerator cause the chain kept leaping off the gears. Now I know I know I should have a tugnut on there but well I had a singleator in my tool box and a tugnut costs 30 bucks. The KM is geared at 32x22 because I have not quite gotten use to the single speed again.

The semester is finished and with that comes the blessing and burden of downtime. Blessing because I don't have to deal with class and the hassle of less than enthusiastic younger class mates. The burden comes from not really having a structure to my life now. I have learned over the years that to a degree I do need structure or I fall into a hole of sorts. Don't get me wrong, I love the free time I just know I'll get into some sort of mischief whether that be with getting mixed up with a woman, having a few too many beers or as I am currently doing stuffing my face until I get a food hangover.

I've resolved to be better about free time this summer. I have an EMS type class to go to at the end of the week up in the North Georgia mountains. While I am there I plan on doing some mountain biking and camping. I'm trying to coordinate with my old friend mayday to meet up in Kingsport ,Tn for a reunion of sorts. It's tough to coordinate with her we'll see.

I did sign up for an online class for a month starting 5/18 that should keep me hopping thru the week. After that I hope to take advantage of the new college library to study up on chemistry and other biology related subjects over the summer. I plan to read some of my PHTLS book, read some of the A&P book again and see if I can rustle up a current microbiology book for cheap. A couple hours a day in the library 4 days a week should keep me occupied and focused. Ride, run or gym early and library during the heat of the day.

We'll see how that all works out.

I'm still working on culling belongings. I was able to sell off a large amount of cassette tapes that a buddy gave me. I thought for sure I'd have a helluva time selling them turns out not so much. There are a few left which I'll relist. I'm having a harder time selling bigger items like a Chrome bag I don't use anymore and my Giant Road bike on commission which I don't ride either. Frankly I'm not real anxious to ride a road bike around here a few people have been hit and seriously injured or killed by careless motorist. I have a feeling I'll have to take the road bike to an ebay seller on the northside of Atlanta and have them list it for me. I'm not sure what I'll do with it just yet if it does not sell at the LBS. Shipping bikes is a pain in the balls. I'll continue to sort through stuff in the shed behind mom's place. I just need to say fuck it and get rid of it all instead of wanting to hold onto it for "projects".

That's it for now. I'll try to be better about writing here. Time does pass us by. Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 25, 2016

15 minutes

I'm really just killing time before I have to walk out the door to get to class. I got 15 minutes or so ish. Did a ride yesterday and felt good.the elbow has minimal aches so that's a bonus. Since I sold off the Kona S/S I decided to convert the Karate Monkey down to it's real intended pourpose which is single speed or maybe eventually when it gets cheaper a 1x10. Having bike tools spread all over two counties is not conducive to getting said conversion done. I'll be up at the shed today to get necessary tools (do I have my chain whip still?)

Still have yet to sell my Giant TCR2 if you are interested go to Bluemoon Bikes it's a cool little one man shop in Griffin, Ga. it's a great alternative to the large brand bicycle mega store that hs taken over this side of town. Seriously buy my bike I could use some cash since I had to put an new engine in my truck.

Spring is officially here with yellow pollen all over the damn place and allergies that are managable with claritin. I love that claritin this time of year.

Discovered that my cabinet is falling from the wall of my apartment, last week clogged toliet, a few weeks ago neighbor busting out his own window. What's next?

Have go to mom's today to run errands and try to figure out a repair for a dry wall ceiling which is causing me some stress. I have yet to find a reasonable price small dry wall estimate. I've looked. I also have to move somethings around so family can come in and remove bed in spare room. Exhausted from family drama if I move from Georgia anytime soon it will be because of them.

Everything is about how it should be I suppose. I'm going to school consistently getting on the trail at least once a week.

15 minutes are up. Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The road giveith and the road taketh away.

Friends and dear three readers I have been on the road for the last week. If you wanna see pics check out the instagrams button located above. It was a grand old week with great weather and minimal hassles until the return, I'll get to that in a moment.

I struck out for Augusta, Georgia. I know, I know in the past I have headed for the mountains. Usually I would, in this case I had a class (TECC Trauma Emergency Casualty Care) I wanted to take because of my back ground of being an EMT. I really felt under trained when it came to active shooter situations and shit I got to learn from some high speed special forces operator types. I won't bore y'all with details but I learned some cool ass stuff, had other stuff reinforced and in general made me like being an EMT and start to ponder things in the medical field again. Then for shits and giggles I looked up PHTLS classes and was rewarded with finding a class the following Monday after TECC. I jumped on it of course because I am ALWAYS looking for CE hours. I have not taken PHTLS since 2009 if I remember correctly.

I remembered that FATS was just outside Augusta and it would afford me the chance to ride a really great trail system that I have kept hearing about since I moved out here. I then remembered that Augusta is closely tied to James Brown. That's right the godfather of soul, Mr. Please Please Please himself, soul brother #1. It was also the place where I won my first BMX trophy and a road trip with Pop many many years ago. I figured that since Augusta revolves around one of the most vile elitist  "sports" ever (golf) that I should not hold it against that particular zip code and as always just GO!

I had a sorta plan and some free time so I loaded up the mazdarauder and went. I had planned to ride FATS my first day there. The trail gods conspired against me for some reason. The local forest service and trail advocacy group decided that since they got some rain to close down the entire trail system for the ENTIRE week I was there (in fact it's still closed). This absolutely blew my riding and camping options right out of the water. First it was rain and blown down trees and then it was a controlled burn at FATS. My tires never touched the trails at FATS because I'm not local and really who wants to deal with forest service rangers when thy don't have to. I learned last year in Pisgah that although you may not be doing anything wrong talking to a forest service ranger is never any fun in that context.

I scratched my bald head a little and headed over to the closest bike shop to get some beta. They steered me towards Bartram trail and advised on opportunities for stealth truck camping. I even showed off the mazdrauder to one of the locals and went into my philosophy of dirtbag mountain bike trips.  I did get a ride in that first day at Bartram. Nice trail and hell I even beat the rain back to the mazdarauder. I ended up staying in that area for the next week in various places dirtbagging in the back of the truck. Man I really saved on hotel bills. I did splurge on a truck stop shower (12.00!!!)  because although I was kinda remote I did have enough people around my camping areas to not risk it. Thinking about it now I think in the future I'll lock the door to the bath room and rig the solar shower in the toilet stall for a quick shower in some privacy.

Four days of my seven day trip I spent in a class room. First at a local police academy for TECC then at the local level 1 trauma center for PHTLS. I won't bore y'all with the details of the classes. I had fun and learned tons, I'll leave it at that. Seems like I cannot get enough of class time between college and work related classes. The reward came after classes with camping spots right on the water of the local reservoirs in cool non-buggy weather. Never got rousted by the police or bothered by the locals. Both of which are a definite bonus. Honestly I could get use to that kinda of lifestyle.

After classes were over and it seemed that FATS was going to be closed due to any hint of moisture in the air I went over to Mistletoe State Park. Mistletoe was a good hard ride. Rock dam was off camber bit of trail and there was a funky arroyo there as well. I spent nearly the entire day at Mistletoe swilling beer on the shore of the local lake in quiet cool weather watching nature and reflecting on life in general. Sorting things out if you will.

The real challenge came the next day. I got up early to make it back to bville and have time to sort gear out. Then about 30 minutes the mazdarauder with 182000 miles on it decided to give up the ghost and the engine blew stranding me on I-20 west just past mile marker 169. It sucked. I had no clue the engine having probs. I check and change the oil regularly and stay on top of the preventive  maintenance because frankly the mazdarauder has a lot of sentimental value to me because of Pop.

Thank heavens for roadside assistance. I got the mazdarauder towed to a local mechanic who gave me nothing but bad news. The engine needed to be replaced and it would take 10 days. Keep in mind I live about 2 hours away driving time from where the truck broke down. I have a shift on Saturday that I cannot miss because I missed last shift for the TECC class. I had no way but to hemorrhage money.

The mechanic said frankly that I should just walk away from the mazdarauder and get something newer. Because of sentimental attachment to the truck there is no way I'm gonna do that. I also thought on it and new car payments would kill me monthly. Sure, it sucks paying a couple of grand to get the engine replaced but in the long run it's gonna be cheaper. Two to three hundred a month for car payments and the same amount for mandatory full coverage insurance. Say 5-6 hundred dollars a month for a new car that's on the cheap side six thousand a year for 5-7 years. Which would mean more work on top of school. I don't mind work too much but in my profession there is a thing that I've dealt with a lot and that is burn out. I try very hard to live within my salary and means. So that's my justification for getting the mazdarauder fixed, I also wanna put a million miles on it. Really I do, so if this new engine lasts another 180000 miles more is the better. I just hope the transmission does not go out soon, knock wood.

I rented a shitty jeep compass loaded up everything in it and drove back bville. Yup more money hemorrhage. I got back and got drunk while unloading the shitty jeep compass. Why...oh why could it not be a jeep renegade?

I found the upside to the engine episode with not having to worry with the engine again for a long while. The other is that maybe in 10 days that there is a slim possibly FATS will be open if no one sneezes on it. I may just take the chance and ride it and skip my evening west civ class on the 21st.

It was a good trip despite the mazdarauder probs. The weather was great the entire time the locals were wonderfully friendly. I got to see the James Brown exhibit and finally and not least I got to some trail time on the voodoo. As compared to last years spring break trip which consisted of cold rain and horrific arm pain that lasted for months afterwards.

Give me a chance and I'll go for it every time, I'll gamble it because life is meant to be lived and not trapped in a cube someplace. Friends and readers get outside and enjoy life. I'm willing to pay the price.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

On the road soon

We're creeping up on mid-terms here soon and that means spring break is right around the corner. All the sunny locales will get post teen drunkards and all sorts of revelry. The red neck riviera, south padre island and lake havasu I'm talking about you.

For the middle aged college student with few responsibilities outside paying the rent other things are planned. As these things happen I had a work related educational opportunity come to my attention. Yes, I plan on getting out of medicine (maybe) sometime in the future BUT well I still enjoy the continuing education classes associated with it. I look for challenging things related to things I like outside of work. Last summer I took another WEMT class and combined that with mountain biking up at Tsali.

I've combined such trips before and it's always fun. Well except for that year I did the NOLS WEMT and went from Steamboat Springs, Co. to Fruita, Co. Steamboat was a hoot. Fruita had potential it was just cold and damn rainy and the people I met up with there were not my kind of folks. Fruita is awesome it's that every trip I've had there ends up all foul. It's me not you.

I digress

I have been scratching around about a class that's work related that covers active shooter scenarios. Unfortunately such situations are more and more common everywhere. I'm a firm believer in the saying "Luck favors those who are prepared"

I found the class but it's in Augusta, Ga. which OK I can deal with Augusta for a day or two then I remembered two things:

1) There are some great trails out there at FATS

2) Augusta has a bit of a history with The Godfather of soul...Mr. Please please please himself. That's right folks James Brown.

I dig James Brown. Not a slathering nut case fan, I just dig his style. Plus he's random. I mean they named a bridge after him in Steamboat Springs Colorado and the dude showed up to open it.

So my little shit show will be going on the much beloved road in a week to get edumacated in combat care of the wounded during active shooter scenarios, go mountain biking at the well known FATS trails, swill beer and of course pay homage to the Godfather of Soul.

That's all I got for the moment. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


From Merriam-Webster :


plural pa·ti·nas play \-nəz\ or pa·ti·nae play \-ˌnē, -ˌnī\
  1. 1 a :  a usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color b :  a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use
  2. 2 :  an appearance or aura that is derived from association, habit, or established character

Those of you who have read this blog long enough know my ongoing love affair with my 26 inch Voodoo Erzulie. A steel bike that I have had for nearly 20 years, if you're a long time reader or friend then you know the story behind it. For those of you not familiar or you just don't remember I'll give you a quick synopsis.

When I bought this mountain bike I had been mountain biking for several years. I started out on a trek something or another MTB which was sold to me at cost by my old LBS after I got out of the army. "You should do this thing called mountain biking." I did and I loved it. I left that bike behind and landed in Guam chasing a woman who I was deeply in love with. There I had 2 bikes a Cannondale with a headshock and a giant. Nice bikes but let's face it Guam is an island and mountain biking there was a bit of a challenge.

I read about Voodoo bikes in what MTB mags we got there and dreamed of steel bikes. I cannot say what drew me to Voodoo, Joe Murray? Black magic? who knows. I could not get a Voodoo on island unless it was via extraordinary shipping costs. So I waited. Things did not work out between this woman and myself (long story) and I ended back in the CONUS (Contentinal U.S.) a couple of years later sleeping on the couch of a good friend and my tattoo artist, which was of all places in Denver, Colorado.

I came to Colorado for 2 weeks and stayed for 14 years. I saved up from crappy retail jobs and bought the Voodoo from a shop unloading them for cheap because OG Voodoo went out of business. I've had the bike since the mid-late 90's. It's been a commuter and an expedition bike. I've had this bike longer than most any relationship I've had combined. I love this bike.

Over the years I have said I wanted S&S couplers on it, gonna get it repainted and so forth. Even had the money to get it painted up right and have the decals redone. I held to that thought for the longest time until here recently. In this day and age we concentrate on nice and shiny, the newest and latest. Which is all fine and good if you can afford it and not be in debt to it. Trust me I often drool over Velociraptor Trucks and Indy Fab, Moots or Yeti bikes.

Then the other day when looking up a video on how to repair something on the ol' Mazdarauder I ran across a hotrod show where all they did was fix up junk yard finds. The word said over and over again was "Patina" They'd take this car or truck make it a monster of ride. They'd sand it down a little shoot a coat of dull clear over it and call it good. They concentrated on making the car or truck high performance not making it look good. Substance over style.

Since then I've applied that idea to the Voodoo. I had the chance to talk to some guys at the local trails and man they have some great bikes, seriously but the bikes lack character and I will say trail cred even soul. Yes, they can hammer me into paste on a ride which is like whatever for me cause I made my bones long ago under western skies. My point is that no longer am I shooting to have the bike stripped down and shipped off to get refurbished. Nope next time the bike gets stripped down I'm just gonna take it to a local paint place and have them shoot a coat of clear over it and call it good. Then put more bitchin' parts on it.

Patina, in cycling friends that is only something that can be done with a steel bike.

Thanks for reading.