Sunday, January 25, 2015

New rule

"New's a new rule."

When ever I hear this I think of an old semi-boss type I use to work with. I cannot really remember his name at the moment. He was a former major or captain in the Bolivian army who fled the country after one of the many political upheavals there. If you don't believe me check it. He did not have much of a sense of humor. Whenever one of us did something he did not like he'd say "New rule, there's a new rule you cannot do (this thing I don't like) anymore." To which I would reply "Where does it say that in the company's policy?" He really did not like me.

My point is I figured out a 'new rule' for my promise card "Reduce clutter get rid of shit" One thing I like to get is tshirts. I see one and before I know it I've bought it and it hangs in the closet. My latest purge of clothing had me get rid of 10-15 shirts I hardly wear. So the thought goes that for every shirt I buy I get rid of two. That's culling the herd!

If you get a shirt in the mail it's from one of my purges and I bought a new tshirt.

I went to the climbing gym this past Friday to do some bouldering. There is a place "closeish" to me called Ascension it's roughly 50 minutes away because I have to drive down a bunch of two lane roads to get over to PTC. Let me say even when I was at the height of my climbing in Colorado a long time ago I was at best average. On a really good day I could pull off a 5.9 or a low 5.10. Now not so much I'm lucky to do 5.8. I'm way out of shape to say the least. I don't need a bunch of people around and honestly enjoy bouldering and fooling around with footwork.

One general thing I have about driving to someplace to be active is do that activity for long as you are going to drive. It's about two hours drive time over and back to the climbing gym so I spend that much time there. Same for going over to my local trails it takes me around 90 minutes to drive there and back so I ride typically for AT LEAST 90 minutes. Get my drift?

I'm still very much out of shape. I did a lot of foot work and practiced keeping my hips closer to the wall. I even went and worked on a bouldering problem for a bit up stairs. It's a neat small climbing gym not crowded like others in the state. You can get a route or an area to yourself and not worry about someone climbing over you.

Other news I finally got a day pinned down for Tour de Pike. This is an annual ride (not race) is one of those things I've been meaning to do since I found about it awhile back. I'm going to do the 33 mile option it seems reasonable enough. It's quite literally in my back yard there is no reason now NOT to do it.

I'll wrap up here and get back to my biology lab notes. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Muertos coffee mug

Mug mug mug
Coffee mug
Gonna clear the haze
Liquid proof
That I can win this race
Coffee mug
The grip that keeps me tall
My inter-link
Keeps me questing all
I don't need no booze or drugs
I just chug-a-lug-o my coffee mug
And I don't need no kiss and hug
I just chug-a-lug-o my coffee mug
They haven't banned
My liquid drug of choice
There's too may hooked
And they've got too much voice
So for the moment
We're all pretty good to go
With 98 cups
With 98 more to go
Here a bean, there a bean
Everywhere a mean mean
Bean Chug-a-lug-o, my
Coffee mug mug mug mug

I figured that since I bought my first bag of whole bean coffee in months (or any kind of coffee for that matter) that I would write about the Muertos mug pictured above. It's something I don't think I'll part with.

This mug comes from a small coffee shop in Phoenix, Arizona called Dos Estrella's coffee house. Go ahead and try to google it cause you won't find it, it's been closed for many many years now. This little coffee shop was just down the street from where I worked at the time which was a large upper level retailer. It was the mid-90's and that whole coffee craze was catching on from this little town in the Northwest called Seattle. It was the time of the small coffee house/shop before a certain large coffee retailer extended it's tentacles across this here planet.

I met this woman around that time and well she changed my life. This little coffee shop is where we went on our first date. We drank coffee, played chess and stayed up all night talking. I bought this mug that night and some whole bean coffee to show her I was into supporting the local economy. Long story short and many folks who know me IRL I ended up moving to the other side of the planet to live with her.

This coffee mug lived through that purge of stuff I owned in Phoenix at the time. It survived two LONG flites to a tiny island in the Pacific and moves she and I did on the island. It survived a typhoon and countless small earthquakes while we were there. Many a morning she and I would sit in bed or out on our small balcony drinking coffee from the same mug. It's a helluva memory that makes this grizzled old guy kinda misty eyed.

Things did not work out between us for reasons I won't discuss here, it was noones fault we were just headed in different directions. She's AWESOME hands down. The mug survived another purge of materials and made it back state side in a suit case to what would be my home for the next 14 years. Denver, Colorado.

This coffee mug was one of the few things I owned when I first moved to Denver in that first cold November. I held onto it when I was freezing my ass off in a illegally sub let apartment I was crashing in at the time, It survived move after move after move while in good ol' DenCo. Lots of late afternoon and morning cups of coffee on various porches and balconies all over the city and county of Denver. It was there during every important event in my life since the mid-90's.

Somewhere along the way the handle broke off. I had a minor melt down because of it. I got it glued back on and it's been fine ever since. It made the move back to Atlanta when I came back to help take care of the parents. Oddly enough this coffee mug other than the Voodoo has been the only consistent thing in my life over the last 20 plus years. Some folks would consider that a damn shame. I'm not of that frame of mind.

I hold that coffee mug and remember what it's like to fall in love. I see it as filled with passion and hope always the start of a new day or stretching a great day (or night) a little more further. It's the vessel that has not only woken me up. It's healed me as well (many cups of thera-flu) and has had more than it's fair share of splashes of whiskey or bourbon help find it's way to my liver. 

It's a coffee mug, a thing, a possession. Thing is that it's got substance, a history. I've been happy when it was literally (and I do mean literally) my only mug. Have I bought many many mugs over the years? Sure I have and they have all been given away or sold as well. No matter how crammed the cupboard is with coffee mugs I tend to grab this one first.

That dear friends is the story of my Muertos coffee mug.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday ride

I woke up this morning looked up the weather. It was forecast for a day in the mid-50's of course it would not get that warm until noonish so that gave me time to listen to my history lecture finish up my notes for that, do some researching on a field I am greatly interested in at the moment and do laundry.

I got all that done then I was out the door and had the Voodoo loaded by noonish . I made it to the trail for a real nice day of riding. It was quite pleasant as i made my turns down my favorite loops at my local trails. I had the trails pretty much to myself with the exception of seeing one other rider at a big intersection headed the opposite way I was.

In typical quiet day on the trail I got to with in 10-15 feet of three deer and they did not even run off. A moment most any hunter in the area would literally kill for. I cleared a little patch I have always had difficulty with today and despite just now getting on a bike this past week after a few weeks off I had plenty of wind to do the climbs I ran across there. Yeah it was in the granny gear, I cleared those climbs all the same sucka!

The Voodoo I've owned it for so long it's an extension of me. It takes turns and obstacles without me even thinking about it. I was thinking about the Voodoo a lot while riding, about how many thousands of miles we've logged. The countless nights of sleeping under the stars. the post girlfriend rides and mainly how when moving back to the states after living on the other side of the planet that it was the one thing I wanted most. Not a warm jacket or a new pair of shoes. A hard tail steel Voodoo. I was thinking that this tax return that I'd finally send it off to Bilenky Cycle Works to have the frame repainted. I say that every year and every year I don't do it I always say..."next year".

The ride was grand, very really uplifting then I saw this in the parking lot:

Which would be fine if the lot was crammed with cars, the trouble was that it was not:

I own the green pick-up truck with the camper shell. None of these minivans were there when I got there and rode so they got there afterwards. I stood there and scratched my head for a moment. I tried to understand the reasoning of parking so close to my truck with a practically empty lot there in front of you.

I was tempted to leave a note or a butt print on the windshield of the minivan and decided against it because it would really bum out that soccer mom once she got back from her nature walk and hey I really don't wanna make a person feel stupid over silly parking lot etiquette like not parking too close to vehicles with bike racks on the back.  I let it pass.

While I was ruminating the folly of the human race I got to meet another local who just pulled up as I was loading the Voodoo onto my rack. Although I have been coming here for over five years they all seem kind of shocked to meet me. I was cool with him as he was with me and we talked about trail conditions etc. Typical trail head small talk.

I bailed soon afterwards and headed to Safehouse Coffee in Griffin. I have been grumbling lately that there is not a good local coffee place here in the ruralish area I live in currently. I did a little googling and ran across this place. It's locally owned so it's bonus in my case. Whole bean coffee bought at a reasonable price, hell I was even able to find a parking spot right there in front of the shop on the street! Have not brewed it yet. That's tomorrow morning.

I got some bio lab stuff to work on so I'll end here. rain is in the forecast tomorrow so I think I'm going to head over to a climbing gym and boulder a bit. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Good trail day.

Yesterday was just too damn awesome NOT to ride at least that's what Karen Minton said. I grabbed the voodoo locked it to the bike rack on the truck and headed off to school for a bio lab that morning. After biology lab I headed over to the truck and headed down to the local trails at Dauset about 20 minutes away. Well 20 minutes turned into an hour when the two lane highway was blocked by a jack knifed stuck 18 wheeler. At least I got to listen to dirt bag diaries for a spell.

Got to the trail and headed out. Turned out I had the trails pretty much to myself for the time which was a little over an hour. The reason I stayed for such a short time is that I had math homework to get done at home. It was one of the more perfect days on the bike. Temps got into the low 70's and despite my lagging physical fitness I rode pretty well on the trails. It's suppose to be just as nice today, I'm not going to ride though I have a date with a stair master and elliptical machine to keep.

I wanted to give a quick mention to Craig Bierly. I stumbled across his blog on the interwebs. I have to say that this dude is doing EXACTLY what I want to do. He's really going for it. I'll drop him a line over the next few days and start a dialogue with him. Alrighty gotta bail and head out to class.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Forward this year

For my two readers who keep track I mentioned Because I said I would an entry or two ago. Because it means something to me I decided not to wait for the cards in the mail. Instead I decided to print some up. In keeping with the idea behind it I'm posting the cards here:

I'm posting these because I want to be held accountable for the day to day stuff. I've taken pics of the ones directly related to my Mom, Sister and Youngest nephew and text them to them (except to Mom which I will put on her fridge. There is one promise I am making to my father. I'll get it laminated or waterproofed somehow and put it on his flowers graveside:

The promise cards strike a chord with me because I promised years ago (decades before these were a reality) that I would come back to Georgia and help out with the parents when I was needed. Those of you who follow me regularly know I have done that in spades. I'd like to think that based on that alone I'm a man of my word. A majority of the time when I say I'm going to do something I follow through. I believe an old neighborhood friend once called me "The King of follow through" (I think Mug said it). Anyways it's said and done let's go forward this year. Forward this year. Seems like a good personal mantra since I had a set back with college last year with the decision to quit nursing school and pursue a biology degree.

In case you have not already noticed I am up way early this morning for the simple fact that I could not sleep. I don't know why I did not doze off yesterday. I guess because I was really on the go Monday. I got all my tax stuff in early this year and called my tax person and a small awesome thing happened. I was able to get in and get it done in a couple of hours. I'm right happy with it because when I went a couple of years ago (because I got my W2 and 1080 late) I was there for nearly six hours because they were so behind. It was a waste of a good weather day, you gotta do what ya gotta do I suppose.

I use to blame getting up early with the stress of school which is not the case now. I'm a little amazed that since I decided to leave eventually leave healthcare that it feels like a huge load has been taken off my shoulders.

Let's change things up a bit and talk about some fun dirtbag shit shall we?

I stumbled across Semi-rad not that long ago which in hand led me over to my new fave podcast for my driving commutes to Atlanta and to the local trails, Dirtbag Diaries. I became familiar with the term during my years in Colorado and did my share of dirtbagging around the centennial state with MTB trips on the Colorado trail and of course with the climbing culture there. Dirtbags are tolerated and even loved where there is a ton of outdoor activity. Out here in places where the outside culture is less understood it's frowned upon as being irresponsible. I've started to look more and more to being a bit more of a Dirtbag with the outfitting of the truck and my last few trips up to North Carolina.

I have really openly laughed at the podcasts and understood the mentality behind the stories. Yes, there are a lot of climbing stories because the folks who produce these gems are primarily climbers. I still consider myself a beginning climber and a armchair mountaineer so I "get" the references and mentality to a degree. As we all know mountain biking is my passion. It seems to me that being a Dirtbag if only for a little while is about setting all other things aside and pursuing adventure. With that I see nothing wrong, makes for a lot of celebrated summers. It also makes relatives & friends scratch their heads.

Since the weather is going to be up in the 60's today I decided that I'll get the voodoo out and do a ride over at my local trail since school is about half way to the trail from where I currently live. I got biology lab and judging from the content last week and what we are going to do this week  can probably get out on time and head over to the trail by noon and be have the tires dirty by noon thirty. I'll stop rattling on so I can get on with my day and you dear readers can get on with yours.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The thing that made me laugh today

Emotionally and soul draining day today and I have not worked a shift yet this week.

This is one of the things that made me laugh today:

The beard stays.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Somethoughts on relationships

Falls under head full of weird:

I like Lee Post. I'd like to think I get his thought process because a lot of it parallels my own life:

I scanned this little nugget out of his book "The very best of Your Square Life" Which reflects my thoughts on relationships not only as of late also in general. I'll keep it short here cause I've written about it ad nauseum in the past I'll let the video say it all:

Need I say more at the moment concerning this subject especially what Mr. Post and Mr. Waits has said so profoundly? No, I don't think so either.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ham fisted knuckle head.

Alright here is my explanation for stripping out the left crank arm pedal threads yesterday. I was in a rush and half asleep when I just was trying to slap on a set of old flat pedals onto the Kona. I fucked it all up ended up having to go over to a very small bicycle shop and get the crank arm tapped out.

I was in the words of the bike shop owner I used to work for "A ham fisted knuckle head" I just was not paying attention to what I was doing. It was fortunate that despite all the errands I had to run yesterday that I was able to get this small problem fixed pretty easily by my new LBS. It being the winter season the LBS took my bike in and got it fixed right quick and for a reasonable price hell I even bought a new set of flat pedals for tooling around on campus.

School starts today, I'm up early just cause. My school schedule is now reasonable due to my major change. Reasonable enough that I think I may have time to go to the gym on campus between classes on Monday and Wednesday then ride after class on Thursday. This is all tentative due to an unknown work load and weather.

Over the weekend I did get my SD (Steph Davis) shelf out of the truck. I did this to better measure and prepare to modify it. One of the goals for the truck is to cut down on clutter while out on the road and improve security. Clutter builds up fast especially when I am living out of backpacks and bags. I also don't want to go WAY overboard and make raised platforms in the truck because I want headspace in the camper shell portion of the truck. I figure I can put drawers on the bottom of the SD shelf with small cabinet combo locks. I also am hot on the idea of a hidden compartment in one drawer.

Other modifications will be a piece of plywood covering the entire bottom of the bed to give me a flat surface to work with with small flat areas over the wheel wells. I want this so I can have a place to mount my cooler. then if I get that far a place to mount my marine battery and hooked up to a solar panel. I would also like to get wood paneling up inside the truck first though I gotta find a leak and get weather stripping up in the tail gate area. I have to do this on a very tight budget.

It's a fair amount of work to do with school here now. None of it will matter a damn if I don't get into shape because with the amount of riding and hiking I plan to do over the summer I best get my (fat) ass in gear. As promised eventually I'll post pics of all the truck mods.

Alrighty time is getting short gotta bail. Thanks for reading.

Oh yeah..happy new year.