there is a special something

i just wanted to have one of those funny slow dances with her, among the pleasant older folks who just were happy to be among themselves for an evening. that's all i wanted.

i didn't at all know what i was getting myself into. the last time i had seriously taken part of a trout lake social gathering was rather unsettling.

tonight at the trout lake country inn & tavern, an establishment native to the town since 1904, there was a community party on behalf of, among others, fred paxson and the TL-EMT folks. as spencer and i packed the van for whistler and drank tallboys of oly i considered tagging along up to the Inn. i have never been fully settled around most of the people here in trout lake, especially the youth. most of the adults have, with very special exceptions, humored me as most adults humor younger generations.

i love small town festivities sometimes. the country inn is an old wood tavern, classic rural barn stylings and a large dance hall with small stage in the back. spencer and i walked in and, being the youngest people there, made our way to the bar for some drinks - there really is nothing quite like a rainier longneck while a local garage-cover band plays classic rock. i'm revelling in this past that i never had a chance to enjoy, the past that my father and mother most likely indulged in. it's wonderful. i have never seen, at any college party, people just dancing to dance and having no idea what they're doing and have so much damned fun the whole time. it's the old crew, too, men and women i had met when i was five or younger while my father worked at the gifford pinchot national forest service bureau here in trout lake. ross bluestone, jim & kathy white, hope clinton, karen fee, fred & diane paxson, judy & walt skelton, cliff & linda, jerry & kathy etc etc etc etc etc. the list goes on. the old crew. the original crew. when rainier and oly was all there was to drink - none of this microbrew bullshit.

it's charming, in a special way. mr. bluestone and i had a short talk about when he and my father were my age here in trout lake, a now-docile-former-dairy-goliath community. there would be 300, maybe 400 people here on weekends. from hood river, portland, seattle...damn. all over, i swear. i asked what happened, where it all went. where it all went wrong. nothing went wrong, it just...a distant looks approaches...it just went away, like most things.

there is a special something in spending an evening with another generation. in dancing with your best friend's mother to a rolling stones cover. in drinking cheap beer with the old guys of the valley, old guys that worked with your father in the woods, marking boundary lines and cutting the forest into sections to be preserved. in sitting in a 100+ year old dance hall that has seen countless bands, acts and events. in finally being shrouded in the heart of a town and being comfortable.

-e pics n' things!


a quick word on procrastination

i heard someone somewhere once ask what a blogger was. the response was that a blogger was someone with a grudge and their virginity - one out of two ain't bad.

the propensity to put it off until later seems to me to be one of the few great equalizers still left on this planet. with constitutional rights for everybody in question, taxes apparently not meaning anything more than a fetid dingo's kidney to some of the richer portions of the population and serious attempts at living forever, it would seem that nearly everybody is susceptible to waiting for a better or "more appropriate" time to do things. this doesn't extend to the collegiate putting off of studying for the mid-term until the night before (something i've extensive experience in) but, as i have seen, extends itself deep into social connections. from not telling a friend what you need to tell them in order to maintain a trustful and open relationship to an inside rep at a bike company to send you a bicycle before you go to whistler on the 26th.

ah, the real point finally emerges.

i never wanted to be the finicky customer - that asshat who sits on their phone in the line while complaining that their drink doesn't have enough foam in it. it's those people who make the rest of the world hate us. but when you're offering upwards of $3000 for a fucking bicycle it would seem you could get a little respect from a company - especially when you work a bike shop that sells their bikes in pretty high quantities. this when i put the order in almost precisely a month ago. rad.

so, back to the deleterious effect of procrastination: my bike is not here and i leave for whistler this sunday. fingers are crossed for a miracle.

but then, i also heard someone somewhere say that some people are coo coo for cocoa puffs for bicycles and are nutty when they don't get what they want.

pics n' things!


turn the corner

the macho paradox by jackson katz could very well be one of the most important books i've ever read. it is only now that i have made the connection between the difficulty i've had getting through it and its very significance.

not difficult to read like hemingway.
not significant like the principia.

the difficulties lie in my own skewed version of what's past, what's present and, most crucially, what's in store for my future. how could i read this and at once take him seriously and reconcile times and actions gone and ships sailed? the paradox, as katz has so beautifully shown me, has not been outlined in the book (a point he's quick to note) but instead he has revealed it within me. and in a promisory note to myself: before this life is over i will have gained (or earned) the tools to properly deal with this paradox.

i didn't stand a chance.
i didn't stand at all.
you looked ok with the others.
you looked great by yourself.
it was 2002 and you needed reminding to stay alive.
and so did i, but at least i tried to fall upon that sword and never look back.
daniel bejar, a.k.a. destroyer

pics n' things!



letters are a very interesting medium. it has been said that emails have spawned horrible communication habits (shorthand, use of spellcheck, etc.). but one of the most egregious flaws in email is the ability to read and easily edit what you've written. this, it is said in Shipley & Schwalbe's Send, a book on email etiquette, amounts to the ability to edit yourself. indeed the very message you're trying to convey becomes diluted and worn, much to the extreme of any latter day Shyamalan movie. i beg to differ.

for the past two weeks i've struggled with a letter. it has been sitting in an envelope, sealed, addressed and being currently used as a bookmark in Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything. frustrating as it is and as wholly disappointed in myself as i am, this letter simply refuses to be mailed.

it's not the fact that it needs to be sent to eastern canada. it's not the fact that i simply have to make a trip to the post, something that even when i'm not itching to send never is a problem. the issue is, not surprisingly, the content. i often will second guess myself when it comes to wondering if i'm interesting enough to be written about. it is a paradoxical problem indeed. the problem goes as follows:
  • i am not interesting enough to write about, even if i am the author.
  • i am, apparently, so self-absorbed that i seem to think that i am the only thing that should be written about.
  • if i am so self-absorbed so as to think this, it should not be a problem writing about me.
as contrived as this logic may be, it is all i can do not to think about it. i have a letter, sitting in a sealed and addressed envelope. the recipient may or may not be expecting it, i have no idea. if they aren't, i'm obviously either as self-absorbed as the statement sounds or entirely pathetic (or both). if they are, my dearest apologies: i'll be with you just as soon as i figure my own head out enough to make it to the post.

-e pics n' things!


cycle renovation, pt. III

it is done*.

it occurred to me this evening (just now, to be precise) that this whole time i've been thinking of the schwinn as a "campus cruiser" bike. but why did i put the suspension fork on? why did i keep the pseudo-knobby mountain bike specific tires? there is no reason for the riser bar so shouldn't i get rid of it?

restored moab

as soon as i thought about this for more than 20 seconds, it occurred to me that i'd probably want to ride it here not just on the roads/gravel, but also give it a whirl as a mountain bike (though i'd probably put a front brake on). having just ridden this snappy little number around town with just one shifter to worry about, i can begin seeing the attraction to singlespeeds. though a 30tooth chainring would've been better for mountain biking, the 32t won't rip my legs off on every hill in bellingham. the only immediately bummer with the one ring is trying to get the chainline right. if it's spaced out too far the chain will crumble to the inside. if the chainring is spaced in too much i'll take two pedals strokes before there is a chain catching on the apogee of my cadence (the result a violent crashing sound as the pins and plates blow apart under my brutal and crushing leg strength and a violent crashing sound as the fence that i just crashed into blow apart under my brtual and crushing flying/flailing strength). it's pretty close to as good as it will be, especially after taking out a link or two from the chain. also, a bashguard is on order.

so, then. the obligatory revised parts list:
fox float RL80 "suspension" fork (80ish millimeters travel)
LX/Rhyno Lite rear wheel, Mavic CrossLand front wheel
hutchinson python air light 2.0 tires
deore crankset (32t)
LX octalink bottom bracket
LX cassette (11-32t)
esp 9.0sl rear shifter ("halfpipe" version)
esp 9.0sl rear derailleur
avid single digit ti rear brake lever
avid single digit ti rear brake
easton ea30 stem (90mm, 5deg. rise flipped upside down)
race face deus xc handlebar
trans-x seatpost
wtb devo saddle
shitty hodgepodge headset

wooo! we'll keep you updated on the bike's performance in the mountain (spectacular on the road, so far).


*save one bashguard that is on order.
pics n' things!


giant sneak preview

'08 giant bikes at crankworx in whistler. mine is the one at the bottom of the page. i'm starting to get all anxious.

pics n' things!

ikea, etc.

today was a watermark day. i visited an ikea store for the first time.

it is the single most useful and, at once, humorous place i've ever visited. period. if you're not comparing mirrors shoulder to shoulder with a very attractive member of the fairer gender you're jockeying for position with the soccer mom surrounded by a hurricane of at least a dozen children all trying to get to the sweedish meatballs. very rarely, in fact, have i ever found myself perusing bedframes and sheet sets shortly before eating very acceptable lingenberry meat sauce - the catch is that this happened under the same roof with no more than 15 minutes twixt each activity.

so even though i've only been there once i have compiled a short list designed to help you survive, if not enjoy, one of the world's highest grossing shopping experiences:

1) know your goal.
and even if you don't know your goal, make one up. i had the vaguest of ideas of what i was looking for today and i still suffered through for nearly four hours (including the time it took to inhale 15 sweedish meatballs and a chicken caesar salad). knowing that you need, for example, a lamp is not nearly enough. having an earmarked catalogue in your hand for reference is key. bonus points if you found the lamp on the website before hand, knew you wanted it, knew its price and just needed to pick it up in person.

2) ignore the soccer moms.
because it just doesn't do anybody any good when conflict arises.

3) use the blue map handouts and the big yellow bag.
before diving headlong into the throbbing masses, look at that blue map of the first and second floors (the showroom and the warehouse, respectively). look for the ninja shortcuts and be aware of them at all times. just like a spy, know your exits.
also, the big yellow bag is a nice addition. if you use it without it's special walker/cart attachment and sling it over your shoulder not unlike your new messenger bag, it makes you look like an experienced ikeaite: you can use it, when full, to smash the happy gawking folks off the last poäng chair. also, you just may impress the fairer gender by looking rather spartan by knowing what you're doing. however...

ignore the fairer gender.
you'll only be distracted from the goals that you had, hopefully, set out for in the first place. this is the bane of your ikea experience. it will be rare that they will not have what you're looking for. it will be rare that you will have to wait in line for soviet lengths of time for it. it is rare that you will have to pay exorbitant amounts of money for particle board and confusing assembly instructions. it is not rare, however, that you will run across a person whom you find incredibly attractive. eyes on the displays only. for the love of god.

so, here's hoping that helps somebody. surely there are more points to be touched on but i lack the experience necessary to note them. today i spent under $60 and walked out of the store with things ranging from the dokument to the glimma to the limmaren to the grönö and everything in between. nice!

pics n' things!