Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On the MTB finally

Since this is a self professed cycling blog I felt that it's important to once every few months to you this activity some of my 3 readers may know that I do. That activity you ask? Cycling, specifically Mountain Biking. Yesterday I dug out the Karate Monkey and got it into the stand. I gave it a serious dusting off because no matter how hard I try I just can't keep saw dust off my bikes. I have tried putting blankets over them in the past alas no luck.

I got air in the tires and forks ran through the shifters and just generally made sure the bike worked still. It did. then I FINALLY got to put the head badge onto the KM. I bought this at least a few years ago and had every intention of putting it on the old karate monkey. This expensive trinket (because it's made of silver) ended up landing in the back of the top shelf of my tool cabinet because I wanted to use two part epoxy to glue it to the head tube and see if I could tap a couple of holes to make sure I did not lose it. Well the tapping of holes never happened, for some reason the two part epoxy was never bought.

I then remembered a couple of months ago when I had the karate monkey out that hey I got this bitchin' head badge for it. I found the head badge and there it sat on my shelf waiting for the semester to end. The semester mercifully ended, after a week or two of wrapping some loose ends up I made time to get the KM head badge on the bike. Fortunately BIL has two part epoxy just lying around. Although I was tempted to use his tool and die set, I refrained because simply that set of tools is way expensive. Two part epoxy...well relatively cheap in comparison.

I got out my dremel and roughed up the surfaces of the head tube and KM head badge and CAREFULLY applied the epoxy. It turned out fairly straight and looks damn good if I do say so myself:

You may ask yourself where do I get bitchin' head badges for my bike? Check out Revolution Cycle Jewelry

I did this because I was sorely wanting to get out and ride today. I knew it was going to be great weather early on and my closest trails would be nearly empty. The closest trail system is a now better known single track jewel in middle Georgia called Dauset Trails. They've done a good job down there, it's a pleasure as always to ride it. Over the years the trail markers have fallen off or removed and some switch back cutting has happened it's expected unfortunately. It's still a great place to ride in the Mid-Ga. region. Lots of trail races of all sorts happen there and from what I gather it's pretty busy there on the weekends.

I stuck to the main trail system itself because last time I rode there I nearly broke my neck on the Indian springs trail. Which if I remember right connects Dauset (which is privately owned) to a local state park. I think mostly it is because I was way out of shape when I rode that piece a while back, which I'll say was my problem, not poor trail layout. I knew I have not been on a bike on single track in awhile so I resolved to take it easy. I did and had a blast, an added bonus I only saw one other MTB rider out there. I even took a small break and did some impromptu trail maintenance.

Trail maintenance? Yup. It seems as though some pansies can't handle an off camber semi rocky, rooty, rutty turn around an old large tree stump. So they short cut the switch back. It makes for serious erosion probs later on down the line and screws up the trail. I took about 10 minutes to find rocks and other debris to make it obvious that short cutting the switch back is a bad idea. We'll see if it holds up.

Other than that and missing trail markers Dauset is a complete and total hoot. The head badge stayed on the entire way and I held up pretty well. Yes, I don't have the legs to climb the inclines fast. I still did clear all the climbs though. Yes in granny gear so meh, it's about being outside, enjoying nature and the soul. Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The trouble is...

I woke up with a start at around 0130 this morning with this exact thought running through my head:

The trouble is that you think you have time. Once I slowed my racing thoughts I got up out of bed and looked this quote up to see if there was anything under the surface of this saying aside from it's surface level sense of urgency.

If you tend to believe what the old interwebs say then Buddha never said this and this quote came from a a book that was bought for me by and old ex-girlfriend called "Buddha's Little Instruction Book". It simply is an interpretation of Buddhist texts. Fair enough. Now that I got that out of the way what does it mean to me in the present moment?!

At first glimpse I take it as a call to arms so to speak, giving me a sense of urgency to get shit done cause simply I'm running out of time. Which if taken that way can easily lead to middle of the night insomnia induced blog entries, this present entry being a very literal prime example.

I could sit here and make a list of things that I need to get done and by heavens I'd get that shit done with a bow on top with a marching band behind it. It's easy for me to do because I am a task oriented kind of guy, try me write something down on a piece of paper and give it to me. I'll screw myself up sideways to get it done. I know this about myself,  if you've ever seen my study desk then you would see a near insane amount of post its/sticky notes all over that area telling me to do shit. I'm awful about it on tests, holy smokes I have 100 questions my brain says "bro, let's go...go...go" Speed in such situations leads to mistakes, which in my case can lead to a failed test and a ruined career path or in an extreme case a patient's condition getting worse. Both dire circumstances, so every 10 questions I stop and take 10 deep breaths with my eyes closed.

No, I'm not getting off topic. So this sense of urgency that evolves from "The trouble is that you think you have time" can be useful to motivate oneself to get up out of the chair and get things done. Which makes at least for me a sense of living in the future and not being in the present. Which directly conflicts with a very important outlook on in life that I read several times over in one of my favorite all time books "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales.

I have read this book cover to cover several times. I tear through it as though my life depends on it (and one day it might) In fact I plan on reading it AGAIN over the summer break. Gonzales also wrote another superb book called "Surviving Survival" if you know me and know a bit about this book then you get a very deep insight on what makes me tick. There were times when I first read "Surviving Survival" and had to put it down and walk away from it for a day, that book struck a nerve.

I digress though.

Gonzales says in "Deep Survival" and in "Surviving Survival" one of the rules of life is to 'Be here now' it's a very Buddhist kind of thinking and nearly Zen in it's context to me at least. It's simply finding wonder in the world around you. Which is hard to do when you're stuck in a damn classroom or cracking the books again after your fourth study break for the day. I now know I did not do that yesterday. I wasn't in the present, I was too damn busy beating the future into submission, getting shit done. 'Be here now' is a corner stone in his books and damn important to remember.

I honestly need to get 'Be here now' tattooed on me someplace simply to remind myself that hey bro be kind to yourself and slow my roll down.

'The trouble is that you think you have enough time' goes hand in hand with a fave quote of Leonard Bernstein 'To achieve great things two things are needed, a plan and not enough time' That quote is so important to me I have it affixed to my study desk. Again a call to arms to get shit done now with a sense of urgency. Which is great during the semester and makes me want to get  a lot done during the breaks the problem is though it's a very American way of thinking and denies me a simple pleasure of life of being in the moment 'Be here now' which is counter to a corner stone of survival. I could chase my tail all night with this train of thought.

I can't keep up a frenetic pace all the time, it's just not possible without a slew of other problems asserting themselves in the present. Yeah, making lists and getting shit done is important I just need to remember to stop what I am doing and slow it down and take moment to look and see and not through my life. There may not be enough hours in the day, I cannot possibly get it all done. So I'll push the stacks aside for awhile and enjoy that one moment. Because after all if I make it to where I am sitting on my mountain home porch I'm not going to say 'Man, I got a lot of shit done in my life' I'm gonna say "I remember that day on the trail where I sat and watched the sun cross the sky." or the day that was so perfect with a person I cared for. That's what matters, getting tasks done will happen. Life will happen despite those same tasks. It makes sense to me, I hope it makes sense to someone else too.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Forty Four

Once again it's that time of year when the old b-day rolls around.  I have to say the best b-day present I have gotten so far was from myself to myself. I passed the first semester of nursing school! It was not easy, I just got it done. I'm rather pleased with me because I feel like it's quite the accomplishment for a guy of at best average intelligence and at my age which by the way if you did not catch the title is now 44.

Some folks balk at the middle aged years, I don't. My attitude is that I'm only getting better. There is no need in dreading the ever present march of time. Just like when I started losing my hair I accepted it and moved on. If you got something to say about a middle aged chunky bald guy who is only half smart then man you got bigger problems than me. I digress, it's a good day all around and the plan is to do as little as possible.

BIL (brother in law) was awesome and agreed to let me shoot his 44 magnum on my 44th birthday (my idea) which I think is pretty cool. I'll push out about a dozen rounds down range at various bottles and targets. Next year I plan on shooting a 45 (carried one in the army) on my 45th birthday. Then if I remember I'll shoot a 50 caliber on my 50th. I'm by no means a gun nut although I owned a great colt king cobra snubbie years ago. I was forced to sell because I had money concerns directly related to "she who must not be named", a  true cunt ,a cheating lying whore ex-wife and current meth addict (interwebs how I love thee). I really miss that gun:

Selling that gun and "she who must not be named" happened over 20 years ago now. It's water under the bridge so to speak. Life evens out that way. As I said before not much planned really, I may work on a bike watch some TV and pack to head up to Atlanta because I have shifts coming up this weekend. This will be the last day for a long while of eating what I want. These last several months stretching into over a year has not been kind to my waistline. I have a trip to the bay area planned for the end of June and I'd like very much to be active there without hyperventilating and vomiting all over the place.

I did have a pleasant surprise kinda out of the blue I had someone offer to take me to dinner for my b-day. It was rather unexpected, I'm excited. Well I got a whole lot of nothing to do, it's right nice outside so understand I'd rather not spend the day in front of the computer. Thanks for reading