Tuesday, September 29, 2009

guard the valuables

there seems to be a couple of collections in this house,
not counting animals,
broken and dismembered toys,
or roving dust creatures...

one, being a coffee feind,
is the coffee cups.
surprisingly I still have my original Salsa cup,
fifteen years without carnage.
don't let the fifteen year thing bother you....
it's clean.
along with my UFF DA! (from my dad)
and my BAD ASS COFFEE COMPANY (Salt Lake City)
they have a subconcious calming effect
admist all of the morning chaos.

it only comes to mind
after removing my favorite water bottles
from the family truckster.

the kids must have looted mine,
after loosing or destroying their own.
Somehow these were not left on the soccer field,
or chewed on by the dog,
or have the rancid smell of curddled milk.

I have my precious favorite water bottles,
and I don't like to share,
for fear of ending up with some crappy unwanted bottle.

The 'safe place' in the fridge has been discovered.
Time to dry and hide the bottles,
like I hide the candy.

email forwards

and missing what's going on around you


I don't know why
but most of the ones I recieve fall into two categories:
a. 'this-is-a-touching-story-you-are-loved-pass-this-on'
or more common,
b. the 'anti-minority-it's-us-or-them-hate-and-propaganda'
which is only a more articulated form of reading the comments
section to any AOL news article. Uneducated, misinformed,
third hand information gathered from some clueless Fox mouthpiece.

both usually get the delete button without a second look,
the title will hopefully hint what I'm sparing myself from,
then you get the:
"You HAVE to check this out"
ok, you got me.

Well two years ago I guess I WAS under a rock,
but this is an interesting piece.

One of the world's best violinist,
within days of playing a sold out show,
playing in the DC metro station,
at least one person noticed.

Just makes the point of how aware are you?
along with the study,
of perception of value and art/music.

Monday, September 28, 2009

rain days

mixed with funny sounds
means tomorrow is 'work on the bike day'
it only comes around once a month here

I found new pulleys
and they just showed up.
rocking the 90's
Bullseye and purple ano....

three abreast

two is cycling company
three means we take the lane.

an evening ride with several different
bikes, personalities, and stories,
and the lane to ourselves...

foggy mornings

fall is here
on somedays,
other days still feel like summer

but every morning has the biting cold fog

leaving early to work each day
just to catch a couple shots that I may come across

a mile after this shot
the fog had all burned off,
back to summer
until the sun goes down.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

biking to Obama

a thanks to Liz @ NY Cross.com,
for putting out the FB group & idea of biking to Obama.
I kind of, in my lazy way,
dismissed the thought when I heard the news.
But the more I thought it over,
So I rearranged the work schedule,
but still got an hour and a half late start.

I am the stereotypical male
when it comes to directions and asking for help,
and my 'inner cump-ass' has never really worked,
but I've stumbled into alot of situations due to it.

I rarely venture over to Troy,
there's only a couple bridges over the Hudson to Troy,
and I've only biked two of them,
so I left with no map,
only a vague sense of how to get to the college,
and that looming count down....
plane lands in a half hour,
and my legs have no 'GO',
oh, I've only had coffee....

So the closest bridge,
the bridge that leads right to the college,
yeah, it's closed.
Closed to EVERYONE.
Cop was not humoured in telling me
how to get to the next bridge.
I'm late, and I get a detour,
to somewhere....
and no map.

That bridge?
That's the one I needed.
I know it's up a hill or two or three,
and to the right.
About as far right as that bridge over there.
I finally breakdown and ask for directions,
First I get an old lady out for a walk,
lived there for most her life,
knows how to get ANYWHERE,
my luck.
"I can just tell you, you're going the wrong way"
Next try,
stoner kid who just rolled out of the 90's,
"yeah, right at the light, up a huge hill,
then right again"
next thing you know I'm on a REALLY rural road,
dodging pickups and no shoulder.
Wondering if he sent me the wrong way, just for fun.
I would've done the same at that age.

As I see the helicopter, I know I'm in the general area,
but where?
Finally I come across a road block,
I figure I must be behind the campus.
The whole neighborhood is on lockdown.
There's no way to get through.
So I play the role of the lost cyclist to the cop.

"How do I get back to the river?
I normally do a loop, but they had one bridge shut down,
then there's all these closed roads...
I just need to get back to Albany so I can get to work.
If I can find Route 4, I think I can find my way back."

After a minute, and a glance around. I get

"go up here a bit and go right, around the sign,
follow that down, you should be ok".


Around the stopped cars,
duck the sign,
and I end upon the drive
that the motorcade should be pulling into.

As I roll up I'm greeted by total strangers,


Just my luck!


and enjoying others,
facinating watching people from all aspects
of life coming together to witness a passing
glimpse of the President.

best quote of the day
one college 'dude' to the other
while leaving the campus,

"all THIS for just one DUDE,
he's just a DUDE".

maybe he's tapping his inner zen via Matthew McConaughey,
but I'm gonna assume its really the
exhaust fumes leaking into his rusted out pick up truck.

approaching helicopter means
it's on!

get the shot

two limos,
one on each side of the road,
which one is he in?

got it.

witness the motorcade

maybe you don't see it on tv,
maybe it was always there and I didn't notice,
but the motorcade is pretty intense.

black SUV after SUV,
with full combat military,
like they were shoe horned in,

what a logistical nightmare.

biking from Obama

as soon as the motorcade cleared the block,
it was open to pedestrians and cyclists,
but no cars.

that left the entire trip back to the Hudson River,

much to the dismay
of all those cars at a stand still

crossing the Hudson
on the bridge that I needed coming over
the continual question shouted out of cars,
"Did you see him"


and I'm glad I made the effort,
sure its just a passing glance,
twenty feet away

it's still inspiring,
some thing we don't get alot of:

road signs don't lie

Thursday, September 17, 2009

and this is why...

it's such an old subject,
every cyclist has a million stories
of misses, rude drivers, altercations,
and after a while,
you're as interested as listening to
another cyclist complaining,
as you are looking at your Aunts' vacation photos
for the third time....

We're all out on the road for one reason or another,
maybe you're picking up some miles on the legs,
trying to loose weight,
making a social or political statement,
maybe it's economical,
or not by choice,
or maybe you just like riding a bike.

I'm just worn out from the lack of respect,
or the intentional disrespect,
and ultimately
the total lack of responsibility.
This year seemed to be the year I'ld actually
yank someone out of their car.

Between the comments from my boss for commuting
and the daily incidents that I know may happen
while commuting to and from work,
it's a little stressful.
I guess I need to find an outlet...
But when you throw your leg over your bike,
and enter the street each morning,
do you think to yourself,


do to some idiot,
doing what idiots do.
And nothing will happen to them,
life will continue as usual.
Maybe there will be a little guilt,
maybe they will loose three points on the license,
and the insurance goes up a bit.

and this is why,
why I have such a hate for drivers,
and the car culture I grew up with.

Yesterday was another commute.
A few people in 'to big of a hurry',
a couple passing a little too close.
More than half way to work,
I finally pickup the bike lane (curbed shoulder).
A really narrow lane.
Eight inches on either side,
a curb on one side, and traffic doing 50 in a 40 to the left.

Approaching the light,
a Jeep rides the white line,
with a mirror inches from my shoulder.
Had I looked over my shoulder,
it'ld smacked me in the face.
I let it go to driver not paying attention,
andall of us are stopping at the light,
so I roll past, to the front of the intersection.

While I wait for the light I decide,
as I get across the intersection and get back into the bike lane,
if that Jeep 'buzzes' me, or comes a little too close,

(at 6'2" and 220 lbs, I'm capable of doing such to most,
but I have a hippie part that's not too confrontational)

The Jeep passes me with the tires on the white line,
mirror rushing past my shoulder.
I'm actually stunned. Seriously?
Then it quickly pulls back into the lane and centers.

"FUCKER! Give me some FUCKIN' room!"
I know yelling does nothing,
but everyone else knew.

The Jeep picks up speed.
I shift to the big ring and sprint.
To my luck (sometimes I get lucky, sometimes)
the Jeep turns into a mall parking lot.
I sprint more,
adreneline to where I'm shaking,
playing out how it's going down when
someone calls the cops and I'm pounding someone.

Will I get arrested?
What can I plee?
Community service?
I think it just might be worth it.

The Jeep is still three blocks ahead.
Will I even catch them?
I wasn't planning on sprints,
and the pot of coffee isn't helping.
Then the Jeep turns into the parking lot.
And pulls into a spot.
Turning into traffic while trying to not loose sight
I pull in on the other side of the lot.

Now what?
The adreneline chokes my words.

If it's a guy, I start in quick and hard on him,
scare him, and maybe it won't escilate to anything,
he sincerely apologizes, and I roll away, done.

If it's a girl, same shit, but maybe be less of a dick.
The point gets made, don't fuck with people with a car.

NO. It's a mom. Out shopping.
I doubt it's intentional,
almost hitting me twice within one block.

My hesitation allows her enough time to walk into the mall.
My opportunity is lost.

Then I realise,
maybe I can just leave a note.
Something to let her know just how close she came.

No paper in my bag,
but a couple duplicate photos I had made of the little man,
while we were in DC.

Maybe THIS will make it more PERSONAL.
Have a photo of my son,
and the next time you're careless on the road
think about how YOU might be RESPONSIBLE for a child growing up

The hippie side won this time.
It still took another half hour to cool down.
And no, I won't beat up someone's mom,
but she came damn close.
And I didn't remove her valve stem cores.
That was simply due to the adrenaline.

This is not how I want to be remembered.
A statistic.
An hassle to someone trying to get to work on time,
or to their shopping avdenture.
A claim on some idiot's insurance.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Buffalo by bus

The problem, if it is a problem.
One car for a family of five.
scenario: family leaves to Buffalo on Wednesday.
I still have three days of work, AND
two gallery shows Friday night.
then I need to get to Buffalo to pick up stuff,
as our grandmother's house is sold off.

how do I get to Buffalo, 300 miles away?

I thought Uhaul, $20 a day plus gas & mileage. But the mileage
was the deal breaker. At a dollar a mile, I'm $600 not including
the gas the beast would eat up. So I'll rent a one way trailer
for the family truckster. $80 takes care of the 'stuff' coming home.

Now how do I get myself there?

Train? Saturday am is only $43, but sold out. The next train is $63,
but get me in Buffalo Saturday night, a whole day lost, not an option.

Rent a car? Through an agency about $140 a day, and need two days.
Through an online deal, $49 a day, but then I'm paying for gas out
and back. And I really hate the idea of another car, with one person,
driving across the state. A self serving douche way to travel.

Seriously the last time I was on a bus, it was the epitome of trash.
Early am, leaving Las Vegas, in the late 80's (I am old).
Everyone you expected to ride a bus, was on THAT bus. And the six
hour trip seemed to take twelve.

The bus runs $63, and surprisingly
there's a Friday/Saturday 1am bus!
That puts me in Buffalo by 7am.
And gives me a whole (exhausted) day to get 'things' done.
Awesome! Now how about the bike?
Well it reads, you provide the box, and pay an extra $20.
Not airlines bad,

So it's decided to go by bus, now I have to plan my night out -
in reverse. I can do amazing reverse math when it involves sleeping
in past the alarm. But two gallery shows, commuting by bike, letting
dogs out, picking up my bag to travel with, and several drinks?
I'm screwed. It was a frantic night, with a large imaginary clock
looming over my head. As the shows wrap up, I stop by the terminal
to pick up my ticket. As I'm waiting inline, there is a young dad
with his son, trying to get a ticket to NYC. The lady at the counter
is just being a nasty old thing, "you're STILL short money!"

Seriously? If you hate your job, then quit. Do not take it out on
'the customer'. Obviously NY state employees were never told that
the citizens were their 'customer', but that's another story.
As I approach the counter, she glares and starts with me,
"YOU, can wait your turn, this doesn't involve you."
The guy is digging in his pockets for change.
As another ticket agent comes to the counter, I ask the dad
how much does he need.
Really, all of this over $2.50? So I give him a $5, and wish him
and his son a safe trip, then head over to the new agent.

He greets me with,
"thanks for doing that! she's a beast, and that was really cool
to see."

Not a problem, I would've spent that on a beer tonight,
but instead, I'm here.

So I get my ticket, but it's 10% less than I thought.
I look at the agent, and he simply replies
"you helped him out, I'll help you out."

Now this lady is even more pissed.

So now is my time...
"so..... how do I go about bringing my bike with me?"
(the bike I wheeled through the terminal & line)
"oh, man, all you got to do is show up a half hour
earlier than normal, find me, I'll call the guy in
back, you give him $6, and he gives you a box to put
it in, and you're all set!"

Now we're talking!
cause I have time to go home, shower, get my bag and a couple
beers and ride back to the terminal.

This is when plans come together, when there is no plan.
And people make things easy for others.

Keg cans in bag & cage.
Stop in for some pre-trip pizza,
a beer, load the bike, give the guy a good tip
(so it makes it on the bus),
and now I just wait.....

grab the ipod, and managed to sleep in between each stop.

next thing you know, it's Buffalo,
put the bike together, and return the box so someone else can use it.

completely different agent here:
'here's your box back, thanks!'

'NO MAN! you go throw that thing away!'

'what? can't you guys reuse it? we did in Albany.'

'that ain't ours, go throw it away'

'yo, I just pulled it off YOUR bus, from YOUR terminal,
in Albany, where I BOUGHT it from YOU guys'

'NO, go put it in the trash'

well, for one decent person, you'll deal with two or three
assholes, fact of life. thanks dick. so I left the box in front
of the door and left.

Elmwood, one of the FEW things that I like about Buffalo,

self portrait:
7:30 am, three hours of sleep, and a long day ahead.

Tag! You're it!

more photos from First Friday (as I near third Friday)
so, I guess this blog, and my life are opperating
two weeks behind, not bad!