Who are we? We are our stories.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Tim and Caroline

Saturday. The bride and groom at an elegant post wedding picnic celebration at the Farmer's Community Park outside the village of Lewiston, Minnesota. A beautiful day for white linen tables and fresh flowers under the gentle breeze shade of a white tent the size of a small gymnasium. It was a wonderful blending of urban and rural. Good food, good wine and beer, and gracious company. And as much of each as we could consume with grace and civility.  

Lorna and Gunnar's Song

It's worked for us, in spite of Patsy's headband. Take the word of one who has seen the cycles come and go, there is NOTHING more silly than yesterday's cutting edge style. I like Willie's version better, but this is a nice change of pace.

Oh, what the hell, a 2fer:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Lighthouse Keeper

With the extra responsibility that comes with marriage, Tim has quit his job as the lighthouse keeper on Superior's north shore and is working at the Minnesota History Center in St.Paul. Selling out for the BIG BUCKS! He will temporarily be returning to Split Rock this summer for their centennial celebration.

The Last 531 Heron Road

I bought this frame from Sheldon Brown at Harris Cyclery. Somewhere along the line Chris Kvale repainted it. Tim Chesterman has always thought it was the bee's knees, so he's gonna get it. With the intent of selling it as a fork and frame, I stripped the headset and bb for my McLean, the stem for Ad's Goodrich, the seat for my Mooney and the wheelset for the Coldnago. Eventually it got down to the fork, frame, rack and fenders. Now I'm pulling parts together to get it roadworthy again.

This afternoon we going to Winona to celebrate the marriage of Tim and Caroline Privet.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There's a New Sheriff in Town

As you know, I love over the top bicycles. Our man Rory Mason, aka Mansini, (think Galmozzi) had this one tricked out for Liquigas rider Francisco Chichi, now Frank the Sheriff. There's more of the story at Breaking Away. I suspect Rory may have more resources at his finger tips than most of us do working in the basement or garage.

(Rory is the translator in the video.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Report From Taylor, the Z-Man

Taylor is in Idaho on his epic ride across America. The one time Lone Wolf is traveling with two other cyclists. The other fellow looks like a serious cyclist. Taylor, bless his heart, looks like Taylor.

"Made it across Washington. Bucked a pretty nice headwind yesterday, still pounded out a century. I have never experienced touring with other people...the draft line is amazing."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dear Abby, re: Rev. Dick's Black Cat


You know I am starting to hate your blog..... (tongue in cheek).  Ever since I got off the list and started reading 1410, the rev and Mimbres man my whole ethos has changed.

Damn you Gunnar.  Now I have Colnagos, Masi's and Paramounts hanging in the rafters collecting dust.  I used to think they were the coolest thing going but if a frame doesn't have a Brooks (carved up) saddle, knobbie tires and mud on it, I won't even give it a second glance.  Now I admire my 1990 G. Fisher more than all of them.  Your Hybrid winterized Coldnago has become a holy grail.  Is there a cure for this sudden addiction.  I am now a sick man and need to go to Rehab.

What is an old roadie to do?
Maybe you can post on your blog and I can get some sound advice.

Jack (mud on the tracks) Gabus, "Echelon 133"

Blaze Foley Documentary

Kevin Triplett, commenter to the previous posting is the director of the above, struggling to get the word out. I wish him well. It's nice to know Blaze's musical grave will have a tombstone.

Monday, May 24, 2010

None For the Shepherd

I stumbled on this sorting through the Blaze Foley tubes, mostly amateur covers. This is by Carlene Jones with harmony by the Duct Tape Messiah himself. Probably a little rarefied for most tastes, but I like it a lot.

Heat, Humidity and Age

It's 4:30 and it's 92 degrees right now and extremely humid, probably a record for the date. This morning I rode the Colnago uptown for a little breakfast - hot, sticky and windy. When I returned to Oakwood I swung around the long way. My neighbor, Bill Kepple was just pulling in to his driveway so I stopped to say hello. Bill is a very fit 85 year old man. He was returning from a two hour tennis match. I asked how it went. He grinned and said, "You know how it is with these young guys, I eventually wore him down."

Blaze Foley

Blaze Foley was a homeless singer, songwriter, guitarist and drunk. He died with no records in print. A bunch of his work has been pulled together and there is now a couple of CDs available. He died of a shotgun blast defending an elderly black man. He didn't live too well, but he died right. His songs are not sad ... they are hopeless.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Which Law & In Failure

Across Oakwood Bay to the north is a shady lakeside park with picnic tables, a pavilion and a band shell. On summer Sunday afternoons local garage bands play in the band shell and the music carries across the water to our backyard. Our answer to Muzak. Albert Lea has a fairly large Hispanic population, going back to migrant workers in the 1930s. One of the bands that used to play on the sultry Sunday afternoons was Los Lobos Del Norte, a band modeled after Los Tigres Del Norte, a popular Norteno band. I believe Norteno is similar to Tejano, except without the American rock influence ..... but I could be entirely wrong about that. Whatever, it's good music and I wish I could understand more of the lyrics.

Publish Post

Addendum: I just read that Los Tigres have sold 34 million records. A lot of records.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Windfalls and Godsends

In the process of adding on to their house my neighbors have found they have no room for their storage building. It doesn't seem right to call it a shed. It is overbuilt, built like an 8' x 12' garage with a plywood floor. Heavy door, full height ceiling, three windows, 8' work bench and shelves. I initially offered him $5. After some serious dickering while we smoked cigars, he got me drunk and he added two more zeros (hyperbole, not factual). I need to get some kind of foundation built, cut down a nice apple tree : (  then hire a fork lift.  8' x 12'.  Do the math, that's a lot of bicycle storage. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Red Shirt Rebellion

Here's a link to pictures of Bangkok that Jan Hart sent to Barin who then forwarded them to me. Thank you, Mimbres Man! Addy doesn't live in the immediate area of the rioting, but the disruption and curfew has affected her life. Hopefully things will calm down soon and she can get back to the work of teaching children. Addy says she's alright, but "Pray for Bangkok".

The Secret Life of Michael Astrue

I sent one of our regular commenters a link to this, but had second thoughts.  It's too good not to share with everyone.
"In the hot Washington afternoon, in one of those endlessly bustling government offices, there sits a man named Michael J. Astrue, the fifty-four-year-old head of the Social Security Administration. Competent, organized, bald, and busy, he is not a politician, exactly, but one of those people who has to live in a highly political world, trying to make what the politicians come up with actually work.

Groomed by the American system for some job like the one he holds—high school at Roxbury Latin, undergrad at Yale (and president of Yale’s prestigious Political Union in his last year there), law school at Harvard—he belongs to a type of quiet and careful civil servant that Caesar Augustus would have recognized. As would Phillip II and Napoleon and Gladstone, for that matter. Powerful governments have always needed this kind of man: the senior administrator, the superior public official who (to reverse the entropy the Irish senator W.B. Yeats feared) makes the center hold and keeps things from falling apart.

Across the city, in the only slightly less hot Washington evening, in an apartment overlooking Georgetown, sits Astrue’s opposite, a man named A.M. Juster: formalist poet, comic versifier, and classical translator. Eight years ago, Juster won the Richard Wilbur Award for his collection 
The Secret Language of Women (2002), besides publishing book-length translations of Petrarch (the 2002 Longing for Laura) and Horace (the 2008 Satires)."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Cheery Little Ditty

For Harold.

It's plain to see, the sun won't shine today
but I ain't in the mood for sunshine anyway
maybe I'll go insane
I got to stop the pain
Or maybe I'll go down to see Kathleen.

A swallow comes and tells me of her dreams
She says she'd like to know just what they mean
I feel like I could die
as I watch her flying by
ride the north wind down to see Kathleen.

Stars hang high above, the oceans roar
the moon is come to lead me to her door
There's crystal across the sand
and the waves, they take my hand.
Soon I'm gonna see my sweet Kathleen.

Soon I'm gonna see my sweet Kathleen.

The Dancing Tree

The magic tree from Debb and Laurie. It sure beats a Virgin Mary potato chip.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The May Garden

I have a wren singing on top of the corner fence post, we have fish in the cowtank, chipmunks in our downspouts, droll toads hiding in the stone steps, and Bombus fraternus is sleeping in the Paeonia suffruticosa. It's 75 degrees and I have a comfortable teak bench under the overhanging lilacs. There's enough money to keep me in single malt Scotch and cigars forever. The garden is wired for the blues and I'm wearing sunglasses.
( "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses." )
Can life be better than this?
- Gunnar '"Living in the Moment" Berg

The New War Between Science and Religion

There is a new war between science and religion, rising from the ashes of the old one, which ended with the defeat of the anti-evolution forces in the 2005 "intelligent design" trial. The new war concerns questions that are more profound than whether or not to teach evolution. Unlike the old science-religion war, this battle is going to be fought not in the courts but in the arena of public opinion. The new war pits those who argue that science and "moderate" forms of religion are compatible worldviews against those who think they are not.         More for people who have time to think about these things.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

We went to the Old Mill last night. I drank two of these 22 oz big boys which contained the best beer I've ever had. Period. 17 barrels total production. I want them all.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

News from Bangkok

Snipped from a note from my daughter today:

"Thanks for offering to buy me a ticket, but I think for right now, I will take a pass, but I might feel differently at some point.  I am still out of harms way in sleepy Saphan Kwai. So far there hasn't really been any mass-exodus from Bangkok. I know that the US Embassy is evacuating staff which makes it sound scary, but the embassy is right near the sight so they could potentially be in an unsafe situation. But really, aside from the "danger areas" life is going on as normal. I worked today at St.Stephen's School and then went to a Mall near my neighborhood and watched Robin Hood. Things are probably going to be crazy in the protest sites tonight, but it should be no problem if one stays away. My plan is to hangout in my apartment the next few days, watch movies, and follow the news. If things haven't calmed down in a week and the situation continues to escalate I may want to leave. There are many expat teachers living in Bangkok, and so far I haven't heard that any of them are thinking about leaving."

The Young Man at Three Score and Five

Time has ambushed me again. It's the heart of spring and rebirth. The birds are singing their angry territorial songs, the flowers are blooming for the insects, and leaves are clean stained glass green. Everything smells alive and organic. If you breathe in deep enough you can taste it, taste life on the back of your tongue. As it happens every spring on this day I am caught slightly off guard by the marking of my own time. Another year has quietly slipped out the back door during the night. I awoke this morning my hair a little grayer and thinner, my muscles softer, my joints aching with the arthritis of a lifetime of petty crimes to my body. My vision continues it's march toward inevitable darkness. None of this is noticeable day to day, but over the years it's cumulative. And the pace seems to be accelerating at an unnerving rate. In short, life can be a long pull into a Midwest summer wind, the hill that never ends. And I love every turn of the crank. I think I'm going to sign up for another season. I had better pick up the pace though; my goal was to finish in the money with moral clarity and wisdom, and I'm not maintaining the necessary pace.

Through evergreen fields of my youth I'd go singing
My steps left no footprints behind
No fruit of the harvest lent weight to my pockets
Small knowledge was stored in my mind
Now youth has forsaken this old man
My seasons are numbered by three
No seeds have been sown in the plowed fields
No harvest is waiting for me

The crippleful life is the fate of a loner
No fruit will be borne by his tree
These thoughts pierce my mind while in echoes of memory
A small voice too late calls to me
Come run through my green fields you old man
Search beyond your windowsill
Go touch my high moutains and valleys
Come sleep 'neath my evergreen fields

Friday, May 14, 2010

Love Me Like a Man

Love them sexy older ladies. "Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme."

Bangkok News

7 killed, 101 injured in clashes-UPDATE
Published: 14/05/2010 at 11:19 PM
Online news: Breakingnews

Seven people have been killed, 101 injured in Friday's clashes between red-shirt protesters and troops, according to latest figures from the Erawan emergency unit.
Nine people are in critical conditions, the emergency unit said.
The wounded are currently treated at 11 hospitals in Bangkok

Addy is okay. Her neighborhood is quiet. School was cancelled yesterday and she and her friends are laying low for a while. 

Minnesota Craft Beer Week

May 17-23.  While we may not have as many brewers as Portland for instance, we have a few. My nephew Chris "Beer Boy" Anderson travels a lot for business. He just spent a round in Florida and Georgia. He said when he was in a restaurant and asked for a local beer, he was offered a Budweiser which had been bottled somewhere in the area. Not only were there no local crafts, there were no craft beers at all.  Gentlemen, if you have good local beer, don't take it for granted. Thank your beer gods. Current members of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild:

August Schell Brewing Co.
Barley John's Brew Pub
Boathouse Brew Pub
Brau Brothers Brewing Co.
Cold Spring Brewery
Fitger's Brewhouse
Flat Earth Brewing Co.
Granite City Brewing
Great Waters Brewery
The Herkimer
Lift Bridge Beer Co.
McCann's Food & Brew
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Rock Bottom Brewery
Summit Brewing Co.
Surly Brewing Co.
Vine Park Brewing Co.

I just noticed that Lake Superior Brewing is not represented. An anti-social bunch I guess. Their Oatmeal Stout is as good as any I've ever had. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'd Rather Go Blind

I was a naive smalltown boy drafted into the service of my country. In basic training I met William Alexander. He was inner city black. We became friends when he announced that every white man he'd ever met was a gutless worm. So, in the name of advancing racial relations, we beat the hell out of each other until we couldn't stand up. Respect. While I was in school I discovered jazz, bluegrass, and any other obscure music that college freshman had decided was cool that year. I didn't dislike soul music. It wasn't on my radar. It wasn't on AM radio or network television. I did not know it existed. Alexander was stunned in his disbelief. He took me by my musical hand and did what he could to educate me. He sat on the bunk across from me with his guitar and sang James Brown, Ray Charles, the current soul music of the time, and also his own songs. I'd never met anyone who actually wrote songs. He showed me blues forms and chord structures, discussed blues, soul and gospel. I listened hard and nodded politely, although I understood very little of it. At least he opened the door for me to walk in.

Take the A" Train

More old guy music. Music changes. It doesn't get better.

Gallo Del Cielo

For my Tovar relatives.
(I've had second thoughts on this. While Tovars are Hispanic, they are originally from Texas not Mexico, none of them can even speak Spanish now that Clarence and Beatrice are gone, and I seriously doubt any of them know anything about cockfighting. None of them have anything in common with a poor Mexican man with a fighting rooster. Therefore, the dedication was offensive and I am rescinding it.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Manifest Destiny

This is Taylor Zimmerman and his bike, Manifest Destiny, an old GT he repainted yesterday. It has a nice mix of functional components. It "shifted for shit", so I gave him a virtually new Shimano freewheel and an XTR rear dérailleur. He also replaced the chain and although he grumbles a little about the old Suntour shifters, he admitted it "shifts like butter". Within a few days he is going to catch a train to the Left Coast and embark on a ride across America. For those who think this is fool hearty, I would point out that Taylor has biked a number of long distant (500+ miles) rides on lessor machines. Last year he hiked north up the length of the Pacific Crest Trail, found a bike in a dumpster and rode down the length of the West Coast.  If his money holds out after he's done with the cross country, he's going to walk the Great Divide trail before fall. Taylor only works when he has to. He has an engineering degree, so when he runs dry he does a little contract work or teaches skiing. While the Destiny may not be a classic trekking bike, if anyone reading this thinks they can out ride him, my money will be on Taylor. (This means you, Barin.) He has the perfect body and the mental focus to make him a really tough rider. There are some rumblings about riding the Great Divide Race next year. He'll be walking it to familiarize himself with the lay of the land. If he does ride it, I'll see that he gets a little help with a proper bicycle rather than riding a dumpster find.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Heaven Stood Still

I posted this previously. I can do this 'cause it's my blog. It's just such a fine counter-point to the Steady Driven' Man, I couldn't resist. As a reader you don't have to click the arrow and listen to the damned thing if you don't want to. But it might do you good.

Steady Drivin' Man

Monday, May 10, 2010

Taylor Z.

Taylor Zimmerman stopped over this evening for some help with a wheel.  He just biked in from Colorado. He has a tendency to buy $100 bikes or find them in a dumpster (true story), ride them 500 miles to another destination and then sell them. His present rig is a beat up GT that will handle 700cs. The components are a mix of old Suntours, etc. As he's planning on riding this across the U.S. we upgraded some of his of components out of my extras box plus the Brooks Pro I got from Dex Henschel, and sent him on his way. Looking at his bicycles that actually get ridden long distances, puts my overly fancy hardware in perspective. Bicycles are tools which allow us to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Locomotive

The young urban messenger posers of today think they invented single-speed bicycles. This is from the olden days when men were men and the Tour de France was a single-speed event. As you process that sentence look at the terrain in this painting by Pat Cleary. Isn't it remarkable how little bicycle have changed since 1921? Even less changes on track bikes, which are virtually unchanged.

From Wiki: "Léon Scieur won the Tour de France on his fifth attempt, in 1921, when he was 33.He went into the lead on the second day and rode so hard to defend his position that reporters nicknamed him The Locomotive. He pedalled fast on a low gear, winning won two stages, from Cherbourg to Brest and from Nice to Grenoble.

Another Belgian, Hector Heusghem, attacked when Scieur punctured on the Col d'Allos, which climbs to 2,240m. Scieur was so angry at the breach of etiquette that riders weren't attacked when they had mechanical trouble that he set off after Heusghem, lectured him on politeness and tradition, raced off angrily alone and won the stage to Grenoble. The feud that developed between them brought still more reporters from Belgium - this was the first year that foreign reporters could follow the race by car - and made life hard work for everyone. The organiser, Henri Desgrange, wrote a column in L'Auto criticising riders for being too scared of Scieur to challenge him.

Desgrange wasn't slow to criticise or discipline riders who he thought weren't riding hard enough. The 12th stage was 371 km from Geneva to Strasbourg. Scieur was leading the race with Heusghem and a French rider, Honoré Barthélemy. Two Belgians, Firmin Lambot and Louis Mottiat, stayed in the main group rather than chase and spoil Scieur's chances. All five riders were on the same team and were using tactics that today would be considered normal. Desgrange, however, believed riders should compete as individuals and not in teams and he banished Lambot and Mottiat to last place.

The Tour became duller after Heusghem and Scieur settled into a sullen truce but it wasn't without incident. Scieur broke 11 spokes on the last but one stage, from Metz to Dunkirk and again fell foul of Desgrange's rules. He managed to get a replacement wheel but new rules for that year's Tour said he didn't have the right to use it unless he could show Desgrange's judges that the original was beyond use. No judge saw the incident and so Scieur carried the broken wheel on his back for 300 km to the finish. He said it left a mark on his back for 15 years."

Friday, May 7, 2010

Big Sid and the Vincati

You guys that have been around here awhile will remember Matt Bibermann and his book Big Sid's Vincati. I just got this note from him. Every writer's dream - his book is sold out!

"Hey Gunnar,

Holy shit--Sam's Club picked BSV as 1 of 3 Father's Day books and bought the entire first run. I only found out because I whined for my 30 author copies and that's when editorial found out that dog of a book--was sold out!

I got a shot! Thanks for the support and friendship!"

Hennie Kuiper Revisited

Why post this picture again? Because tonight I received an email from Bjorn Kuiper, son of Hennie Kuiper. He maintains his father's website and flicker page, and was wondering where the picture came from. He would like to use it on the website. I steered him on the right direction and perhaps we'll see it there n the future. Let's face it, the son of a Paris Roubaix winner gets prestige points if only by family proximity. 

For you young pups who think that the world began with Mr.Armstrong and don't know who Hennie is, this is an abbreviated Palmares:
1974: National cycle cross champion 
1975: National cycle cross champion 
1975: National road race champion 
1975: World road race champion Yvoir (Belgium) 
1976: Winner Tour of Switzerland (general classification) 
1976: Winner Tour of France Bornem leg (Belgium) 
1977: Second in the general classification of the Tour de France 
1977: Winner Tour de France leg towards Alpe d'Huez 
1977: Sportsman of the Year 
1978: Winner Tour de France leg towards Alpe d'Huez 
1980: Second in the general classification of the Tour de France 
1981: Winner classic Tour of Flanders 
1981: Winner classic Tour of Lombardy 
1982: 'Jeunesse et sport' decoration in France 
1983: Winner classic Paris-Roubaix 
1985: Winner classic Milan-San Remo 
1988: Knighted in the order of Oranje Nassau

...and the Crowd Goes Wild

Fate issues every ballpark some quirks. The Target Field has the Foul Pole Kestrel. This sure beats a bunch of pigeons or seagulls pooping in center field. There are also a pair of redtails nesting behind the scoreboard There are peregrines in downtown Minneapolis, going about their job of thinning the pigeon population. Be pretty fine to have a pair of them at the ballpark. From last night's game:


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Terry Folie

Terry Folie died on a Harley road trip visiting his son in Alabama. I knew Terry as a child until he died at 59. A good, kind soul, we shared a few beers here in Oakwood last summer. I had a couple more projects in mind for him this summer. Terry liked to work by bids which were always too cheap, but then he could stop for coffee and visit without the pressure of a clock. Now I'll have to find another man who can fix or build anything, and do it with grace and class. He left behind a family that he loved more than life itself.

Let us now praise the carpenter and the things that he made
And the way that he lived by the tools of his trade
I can still hear his hammer singing ten penny time
Working by the hour till the day he died

Oh, he was tough as a crowbar, quick as a chisel
Fair as a plane and true as a level
He was straight as a chalkline and right as a rule
He was square with the world he took good care of his tools

Worth Brewing

Why Worth?  Because it's brewpub is 20 minutes from my door.  It bills itself as the smallest commercial brewery in the nation. Peter Ausenhus, who learned his trade working at Summit Brewing, brews 10 gallon batches.  Lots and lots of batches of obscure beer varieties. Why am I posting this now? Because Iowa has overturned an old law which restricted Iowa brewed beers to be 5% alcohol or less. The rules have changed.

Summit EPA

Like many locals, when I buy beer I buy a 12-pack of Summit EPA and a 6-pack or two of something interesting. Summit certainly isn't a micro brew, it accounts for 10% of Minnesota's beer market, not dominating, but it's a damned good, drinkable beer. This past month it received the World Beer Cup gold medal for Classic English Style Pale Ale. If you're thirsty for more... 

Off Shore Drilling

From the Archdruid Report:
"Bad as it is already, it may get much, much worse. According to a memo leaked to Gulf Coast newspapers, BP officials have privately admitted to the US government that the torrent of hot, high-pressure crude oil surging through the broken pipe could quite conceivably blow the remaining hardware off the top of the well. This would turn the current 5,000-barrel-a-day spill into a cataclysmic gusher of 40,000 to 60,000 barrels a day. Capping such a flow a mile under water is beyond current technology; if things go that way, there may be no other option than waiting until the flow drops to a more manageable level. If that means the death of every multicellular organism in the Gulf of Mexico, storm surges this hurricane season that leave everything for miles inland coated with black goo, and tar balls and dead birds floating ashore wherever the Gulf Stream goes – and yes, these are tolerably likely consequences if the wellhead blows – that’s what it means."  More Goddamn scary predictions

Johnny Too Bad

Reverend Dick over at the Church of the Sweet Ride was having a Steve Earle moment this morning. I am stealing his moment. Thanks Rev. Johnny Too Bad was on the Copperhead Road CD, a little herion aided pre-prison Steve. The V-Roys are actually a group of British lads called The Pogues. The contrast between the outlaw Earle and the middle-class neat Brits is fun. The CD version also has an over-dub by a Jamaican, who name escapes me at the moment. Seems as if there is a lot of that "escapes me" going around lately.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Reeport

I'm feeling strong. Even though I didn't have stomach issues, if you're sick enough it kills the appetite. Last night I had the first real meal I've had in a week - squash ravioli with asparagus in a white sauce, washed down with red wine. Damned good. As Jack would say, I'm Baaaacck!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Most people of a certain age know that Richie Havens opened Woodstock. This was one of the high points.  It's a very repetitive song.  I've read that he played the long intro to create tension, to set up the importance of this song. He played from his heart like a man possessed.

Recently I heard an interview with Mr.Havens. He said the next act hadn't arrived, couldn't get through the throng, and they kept sending him back out on stage. He had only played little clubs and there were more people in front of him than he had ever seen. He was terrified. He said he was just a kid and he didn't have any more material. They told him to just play anything. So he went out and started playing. The reason for the long intro was he was trying to come up with words to sing. He felt like a motherless child because he didn't know what the next line was going to be. A classic, under pressure.

Mimbres Man: Tour of the Gila

Mimbres Man, our man in Venezuela, made a run back to the States to his old home to watch the Tour of the Gila stage race. He also had an opportunity to talk to Lance, who obviously is still in awe of him. Our Man forwarded this photo of the action, which contains both beer and his bicycle. Well played.

Dan Siniff's Trek 950 Anti-Campy

Interesting bike. Top of the line. I'm not a Trek expert, but I'd put this at about '81 because of seat tube graphics and the dérailleur cables are still running above the bottom bracket where they should be. The brakeset is the now famous $802 black Modolos. Well, close enough. Mavic drivetrain, SR post. NO CAMPAGNOLO! Campagnolo made some very fine, sturdy components at this time, but it is boring to see the same parts on every bike.  Campagnolo  It will shift poorly ... forever!   I had a similar reaction when I built up my McLean, keeping only the Campy drivetrain. The only reason Mavic didn't show up on mine is that I wanted primarily an Italian setup. If I could have found the right Galli parts, I'd have bought'em. I digress. This Trek is a great bike, about the last one in my interest horizon. (Check out the vertical rear dropouts that get Jack all moist.) I do have some reservations about the candy-cane bar-wraps, but I don't want to get into another bar-wrap mud-fight. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Brothers and Sisters, Justified

Last night, while separated from the wife by television tastes, I discovered I could watch Justified on demand on the living room set. So I demanded. Brothers and Sisters (in my humble opinion) is just horrible tripe with predictable story lines (that you don't even care about) reinforced by sappy background music. It involves "relationships". It sucks in the worst way. Whereas Justified is based on the work of Elmore Leonard. Enough said. It's dirty, bloody and violent. Pass the beer nuts ............... Please. Watch online  Hell, it's worth it just to watch the short clips.

Mary Wins Fabulous Outings Award!

My 50+ year friend Mary Mcmannus after being warded something by the Los Angels Chapter of the Sierra Club. I have no idea what is was or what is was for, but she seems really pleased about it, so it's makes me happy. You gotta love them old ladies mature women prime ladies wearing red dresses!

I'm Rich! I'm Rich!

I like Modolo Brakes. They work really well and are nicely finished. They make the classic Campagnolo brakes look like they were made by a blacksmith. I have three vintage bicycles that are equipped with Modolo Professionals. A set of gorgeous black ones just sold last on eBay for $802.99 + $55 shipping! People are crazy. They weren't even blue for chrissake. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday, Lady With Pug

May Day Around Fountain Lake

A loop around Fountain Lake. Windy with intermittent sun and clouds. We may not have Japanese Cherries around the Tidal Basin, but we have flowering crabs around a mud-bottomed prairie lake. We play the cards we're dealt. And some days that's just fine.

There is a paved bike path all the way around, approximately 5 miles, either sidewalk or multi-use path (8' wide paved) through the natural area. It can be seen along the edge of the cemetery photo. We like to give our dead folks a pleasant vista. It's not like they can move if they don't like the view.

 I deviate from the trail and take the gravel Shoreland road. It'll slow you down, but sometimes slow is good. We take for granted the Oakwood lower loop and the Shoreland road. Few towns have isolated rural feeling lanes along the water. The paved path along the channel and below the cemeteries is just damned beautiful. It's even has lights. Use it. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On the Dole

As of today I am off Lorna's health insurance plan and onto Medicare with a little supplemental insurance. After her Saturday breakfast with Pam, Lorna picked up a bucket of pills for me, which cost $8. With the money I'm going to save, I can buy another old bike.

Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road.

Jim and I can attribute our many, many successes in life to the Boy Scouts of America. (I am assuming Jim's got those "successes" covered.) If the parent organization knew what went on we'd have been drummed out of the organization. Scouts is where we went to learn how to swear, spit and chew tobacco. Our troop was compared unfavorably to an organized gang. I'm a little short on energy right now so this is from Jim.

"Listening to some old Statler Brothers tunes and smelling ex-skunks this afternoon had got me thinking about an old, old road trip from the mid-1950s.  Gunnar and I were in Clarks Grove Boy Scout troop back then and it was an unwritten article of faith that meetings on the hot, humid nights of the Minnesota summer were spent either at the Hollandale pool or the beach up at St. Olaf  Lake.  Our leadership mentors, Dick Rasmussen and my old-man didn’t like sitting around the old barn on a humid night any more than their bored, rebellious charges.  So, “swimming lessons” for the boys would be announced and off everyone went to the vehicles."  More