Who are we? We are our stories.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On Beetles

Jack Haldane 
...for Margadant:
There are over 400,000 named beetles, probably two or three times that number unclassified.

Asked by a prominent preacher what he had learned about God from his study of evolutionary biology, J. B. S. Haldane replied, "If one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of his creation it would appear that God has a special fondness for stars and beetles."

"Cancer’s a Funny Thing
I wish I had the voice of Homer
To sing of rectal carcinoma,
This kills a lot more chaps, in fact,
Than were bumped off when Troy was sacked..."

Haldane died on 1 December 1964. He willed that his body be used for study at the Rangaraya Medical College.
"My body has been used for both purposes during my lifetime and after my death, whether I continue to exist or not, I shall have no further use for it, and desire that it shall be used by others. Its refrigeration, if this is possible, should be a first charge on my estate."
"... used for both purposes ..." ???

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lestrud Wheels

Last evening I stopped over to Lestruds to pick up the set of wheels he just built for me - Campagnolo Record hubs, DT Revolution spokes and the new polished box rims from Velo Orange. Lestie is a fussy man. All of the spokes, front and back, are crossed exactly the same way, looking down through the valve stem hole you can see the Campagnolo Record logo on the hubs. Incidently, these are for the McLean, not for the upcoming Kvale, but he built those too. I keep thinking I should build my own wheels. Why? Thanks to Lucky, I was only charged an unspecified number of future evenings of conversation and Redbreast Irish Whiskey down in the bicycle den. A hat's off to Mr. Lestrud.

We spent some time looking at his vintage Ducati motorcycle frame up on the bench, slowly acquiring parts. He said the original gas tanks were a fiberglass that doesn't ope well with modern fuels and he recently picked up a custom handmade aluminum gas tank from France. He's trying to decide whether to paint or polish it. Nice work. I have never seen this machine run. For years it has been hovering in the background - dusty pistons, greasy gears and tailpipes in boxes in the corner. I think it's finally coming together. Another year or two ... maybe.

Lestie apologized for taking two or three weeks to build up the wheels. JoDee had a vein in her nose rupture bad enough that she ended up in Rochester at St.Mary's, a hospital branch of the Mayo Clinic. She is okay now, but lost enough blood that she is so weak and anemic that she doesn't have the energy to give me a hard time. Here's wishing her a fast recovery so she can reestablish the status quo.

Consumable Bicycle Parts

Recently I was at a frame builder who also restores vintage frames. Hanging in the little backroom there was a drop dead gorgeous older Bob Jackson - deep, pure chrome yellow with red transfers. When I say "older", I mean 1960s (?), as Jackson was founded back in 1935. The yellow paint was fresh enough that I was strongly admonished not to touch it. (He knows me.) Hands jammed securely in my pockets, I examined it closely. I commented that it was a far better paint job than a new Bob Jackson ever had. I questioned whether he was ever asked to restore a bicycle to look "original"? He quipped, "Do you mean kill the sheen down a little, ... or put the transfers on crooked?" He then went on, explaining that some items on a bicycle were transient, they are consumables - tires, bar wraps, brake hoods, brake pads - over time - spokes, rims, and even derailleurs. Bikes are built to be ridden, things wear out (even knees), and he puts paint and knees into a consumable items category that require occasional replacement. He also sees no reason to downgrade his work because someone else did 50 years ago. He said when he has the opportunity to repaint one of the frames he built himself, it makes him feel good because it means someone loves the bike enough to ride it a lot. 

One of the reasons I was at the shop was to have the front fork of my McLean straightened. McLean Fonvielle has a reputation for having built some of the sweetest riding bikes of any era, so it surprised and bothered me a little that it didn't track perfectly. It was not severe, but it meant that when riding without hands I had to concentrate to keep it from tacking to the right. You could ride it under hand control forever and never even be aware of it. To be perfect a fork has to have the axle parallel to both both planes of the crown, and the dropouts equidistant from the center plane. Mine was perfect except for being equidistant. The cure was bending each stay with a special pry bar, checking with a dial indicator on the alignment bed, bending, rechecking, bending less, rechecking, until they were straight, and then refiling the right dropout which had moved down a whisker when the stays were moved to the right. I asked if he thought the bike had been in an accident sometime in the past thirty years. He said he didn't think so, because if fork stays have been bent they don't resist being straightened as much as these did and the dropout wouldn't have needed filing. As the man said, there are no perfect bikes, it's only how close to perfection they are. While perfection is always an elusive goal, moving away just as we grab for it, it's even closer now. And it only cost me some dark beer.

"My goal is not efficiency, my goal is perfection."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ode to Christopher Hitchens

 "... a whiff of well-hung grouse                        ... lying face down in his own bullshit".

Christopher Hitchens has esophageal cancer and his prognosis is not good. As he puts it:
        "I’m dying. Everybody is, but the process has suddenly accelerated on me."

I've read his essays for years, I have one of his books, The Trial of Henry Kissinger, and his new book, Hitch-22: A Memoir is on my short list. Some people are of the opinion that Hitchens's philosophy has moved from the left to the right. I think not. I think he is by nature a contrarian gadfly. He's a label shifter that forces people to think. From the London Review of Books:
"Hitchens’s strong, almost gamey opinions produce a whiff of well-hung grouse in the reactions he provokes, and it tends to linger in the house. Stefan Collini, for the opposition, imagines Hitchens ‘as twilight gathers and the fields fall silent, lying face down in his own bullshit’."

I salute you Christopher
I salute your life
How you played the dice
Your words will live in us
Timelessly insane
Explosive, fresh and wise
Some will just forget
Some will close their eyes
Some will turn the tide

(IAMX might have waited until he was dead to plant him.)

*beep*  "Anyone with news of fame or money is welcome to leave their number after the tone."  *beep*. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Pinetop" Perkins, Dead at 97

From Statesman.com, thanks to Chris "Beerboy" Anderson for the heads up.

"Legendary piano player Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins, who gave Austin a walking, talking, piano thumping monument to the blues when he moved here in 2003, passed away from cardiac arrest Monday at his home in North Austin. The oldest-ever Grammy winner, whose third golden gramophone came last month, Perkins was 97.
When the Rolling Stones played Austin for the first time in October 2006 at Zilker Park, the sight they most wanted to see was Perkins backstage before their show.
Even in failing health, Perkins went to Antone’s nightclub three or four times a week to sell CDs and DVDs and chat with fans, who couldn’t believe they were hanging out with the piano player in Muddy Waters’ great band from 1969 until 1980. He was often called onstage to jam, including Saturday at South by Southwest, when he played piano for fellow Mississippi native Bobby Rush.
Although Perkins is not survived by relatives, Susan Antone said “he was a member of our family, not just the Antone’s family, but the Austin family.”
An original Mississippi Delta bluesman, Perkins came up with musical folk heroes such as Robert Johnson and Son House and played on Sonny Boy Williamson's essential “King Biscuit Time” radio program in the 1940s, He received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2005."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Linda

Lorna's sister, Linda just turned 60 and Saturday night we had a party for 15+/- at Victoria's Ristorante & Wine Bar, a nice restaurant in Rochester. It was a bittersweet gathering - a growing family, with a toddler and one or two young pregnants, but also included three sisters who are flying to L.A. tomorrow to bury the other sister. 

Nephew Chris and I were picking wines for the table and I never quite got around to the food menu. So I did the only reasonable, nodding toward Lorna, I said, "I'll have she's having". There was  a toast to Joy; she was with us in spirit, but it was never brought up again. Eating the same thing as Lorna worked out, as neither of us could finish our meal and we were able to pool our leftovers.

Lorna has picked up this quirky trait; she likes to sign the doggy boxes with little messages. She writes the notes and signs them the way she imagines the waiters would do. "Have a great day! - Bobbee."(smiley face) "See you soon! - Jacki" (with a heart dotting the ). We had a good waiter last night. He was wise, affirming all our wine choices, even a potentially insipid Merlot for the less serious wine drinkers at the far end of the table. Apparently, Lorna decided he was a Kevin. She just seems to know these things. And Kevin was right! With the addition of some nice thick asparagus shoots, hard rolls and a cheap Red Vin, it was a great second meal.   

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bills Magical Mystery Tour

I just added another Blog Follow, which I came upon through Doug's Blog.  In case you want to check out some nice Lake Superior Spring shots, Vito seems pretty handy with a camera.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ferlin Husky

... died today. I think I like the original, when he still had pipes  ... except for the overdubbed chorus. What were those people thinking?

The Gerstner 52, etc

Stuff I learned at work:
Gerstner 52
There used to be a hierarchy in the personal equipment of engineers, draftsmen, and tool and die makers. All of these people had to furnish their own tools. The status of a engineer, or at least imagined status, could be measured by how fine and elaborate the materials and inlays of his slide rule were. I had a basic Keuffel & Esser. The draftsman, by the quality and brand of his drafting set (I was a Koh-i-noor man). The machinists had the most expensive tools. I worked on the edges of the tool and die world, daily interacting with them. I don't know the brand of tools they had, but they were proud of them. I do know their tool chests. If they had the bucks it was H. Gerstner and Sons all the way. Since 1906, four generations crafting beautiful boxes made of quarter-sawn oak. Perfectly functional, a place for everything. And beautiful.

For instance the large center drawer is a glove fit for the Machinery's Handbook. Not the Machinest Handbook, it is Machinery's Handbook. It is a 3" thick, small-print bible of facts, figures, specs and charts for everything you really need to know in life. Mine was a leather bound 20th Edition I inherited from Karl Wettlaufer when he retired. He inherited it from someone else. It had both their notes and my notes. (One was a formula for how low in the water a duckboat of a given weight and volume would set.) I suppose you can get it on a CD now, but how do you make margin notes and write obscure formulas in the back cover of a CD? I miss it. Maybe I should go back and claim it.

Star 7-drawer cabinet
But back to the Gerstner.  There is a Gerstner Owner's Club. A new Gerstner 52 is $900+. Really nice old ones sometimes more.  They have introduced a second tier line that's made in China, but guys, it ain't the same. The Chinese have also knocked it off a bunch of ways under different brands. I caught an old one for my bicycle tools on Ebay. It was being presented as a Gerstner, but everyone in the market knew that that was bogus. It a Star, always a notch below the Gerstner. It'll function as well, but the drawer construction is not quite as good, the oak is only quarter-sawn where it needs to be, the mirror is round. The felt is shot, but it's was in the $100 range, not $500+. No one collects Stars. I'll survive. But if I knew Pete Nielson was going to be stopping by, I'd hide it. 

Jack Gabus just sent me this picture, just to let us know, he's still an old school soul.  I think I have my slide rule down in the shop somewhere ...  for prying off paint can lids.

The Gerstner 92XL in cherry with brass trim for ONLY $1480.

Luddites Unite

This seems to apply to the times we are living in. (Think modern Monkey Wrench Gangs sabotaging corporate computer networks.)  From Smithsonian:
"Despite their modern reputation, the original Luddites were neither opposed to technology nor inept at using it. Many were highly skilled machine operators in the textile industry. Nor was the technology they attacked particularly new. Moreover, the idea of smashing machines as a form of industrial protest did not begin or end with them. In truth, the secret of their enduring reputation depends less on what they did than on the name under which they did it. You could say they were good at branding.
The Luddite disturbances started in circumstances at least superficially similar to our own. British working families at the start of the 19th century were enduring economic upheaval and widespread unemployment. A seemingly endless war against Napoleon’s France had brought “the hard pinch of poverty,” wrote Yorkshire historian Frank Peel, to homes “where it had hitherto been a stranger.” Food was scarce and rapidly becoming more costly. Then, on March 11, 1811, in Nottingham, a textile manufacturing center, British troops broke up a crowd of protesters demanding more work and better wages.
That night, angry workers smashed textile machinery in a nearby village. Similar attacks occurred nightly at first, then sporadically, and then in waves, eventually spreading across a 70-mile swath of northern England from Loughborough in the south to Wakefield in the north. Fearing a national movement, the government soon positioned thousands of soldiers to defend factories. Parliament passed a measure to make machine-breaking a capital offense."
People who know me will understand.
A few middle-aged couples are chatting at a dinner party when one husband, Harry, starts talking enthusiastically about a new restaurant he has just visited with his wife. What's its name, demands a friend. Harry looks blank. There is an awkward pause. "What are those good-smelling flowers with thorns called again?" he eventually asks. A rose, he is told. "Yes that's it," Harry announces before turning to his wife. "Rose, what's that restaurant we went to the other night?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bar Set-Up

I have vacillated between drop-bars and high-bars, between a bar-end shifter and a down-tube shifter. These vintage inverse (bar-end) CLB brake levers with cable routing through the bars decided everything for me in one clean shot. They are swueet.
CLB inverse levers
Vincent Dominguez fillet-brazed stem
 with bi-laminate lug 

Velo Orange porteur bars

Mexi-Mocha Coffee

My grandmother was an old Dane and she could flat out cook and bake! Most of her cooking apparently didn't require recipes and if you wanted a recipe sometimes it would take a while to get it. She had to actually prepare the dish and write down the ingredients and processes as she made it. Her recipes were pretty accurate, not like her competitive sister-in-law, Neva, who would intentionally hold back an ingredient or two. The recipes she did have were on folded scrapes of paper and lard stained 3 x 5 cards, the earliest ones in Danish. She spoke English and baked in Danish? They had ingredients like "One 10 cent can of crushed pineapple". Okay, is that the large can, or the small can? There were also little cryptic notes about where she got the recipe and things can potentially go wrong in the process.

This isn't one of Grandma Nellie's recipes. She would have considered Mexi-Mocha Coffee exotic. She and Grandpa thought even pizza and salsa were foreign food, and therefore suspect. Also, she probably would have thought adding all these things to perfectly fine coffee was silly and maybe blasphemy. Lorna's note at the bottom is certainly a Grandma Nellie inspired note though. "for bookclub"!

½ c. packed brown sugar *
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 orange peel strips (1-3 inches)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground allspice
3 c. strong brewed coffee whipped cream
½ c. half-and-half, warmed
Optional garnishes:
    cinnamon sticks
    orange peel

Place first 5 ingredients in a blender, cover and process until chocolate is finely chopped.
Add coffee; cover and process for 1-2 minutes or until chocolate is melted.
Transfer into a small saucepan and heat through.
Return mixture to blender; add cream.
Cover and process until frothy.
Strain, discarding solids; serve.

* This is half of the sugar the original recipe called for. I made it with half of the sugar for book club.

Sean Kelly Day

For the Irish day, a hard, old-school man. Sean Kelly was lugged steel and toe clips when all the other riders were thinking indexed and clipless. And he was tougher than woodpecker lips, winning Paris-Roubaix in '84 & '86, along with Paris-Nice seven years in a row! Woodpecker lips.

In green.
And mud.

Welcome Home

When your soul leaves your body for to make that journey home
When your time here is over and you sang your last sweet song
You prepare to meet your maker
Will your heart be pure and good?
Did you try to help your neighbor, doing everything you could?
Did you reach out to your brother in his time of need?
Did you live a life of kindness sowing every little seed?

Will the heavens leave a light on with a welcome mat outside?
Will your chariot be waiting; will the saints give you a ride?
Will the pearly gates be open so you can walk inside?
Friends and family a waiting with their arms open wide
Will the angels sing a chorus; will they have your long white robe?
Will the lord come out to greet you singing child welcome home, welcome home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Joy's Obituary

Joy Dunn, 67, went to be with their precious Savior, Jesus Christ on March 14, 2011. She was surrounded at home by her beloved family. Her funeral service, with Tim Coop officiating, will be held at Crossroads Christian Church on Thursday at 11:00 AM.
Joy was born on June 1, 1943 to Robert and Florence Hanson, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. She attended nursing school in Minnesota for 3 years. Three months before completion of the program she decided nursing was not the direction she wanted to continue. She married her Marine, Lloyd Dunn, 47 year ago and they moved to California. At the age of 55 Joy completed her education with a Bachelor of Science Degree at Hope International University.
For the past 28 years Joy and Lloyd owned and ran a small business, Evans Leak Detection. Helping run their business didn't keep Joy from volunteer community work. She was Corona Park and Recreational Commissioner for 18 years, a Mentor Mom for "Moms of Pre-Schoolers”, and a Home Fellowship Leader. She worked with the Corona Police Community Partnership. Joy was a very active member of Crossroads Christian Church for 43 years. She was currently serving as a church elder.
Joy had a special passion for her work and her friendships with the Circle City Rotary Club, where she had served as president. On Sunday, March 13, she asked that they be told how much she loved them and that "Rotary meant everything to me ... They were part of my family." She was an active member for over 20 years. Through the Hurricane Katrina Stars (Service to American Rotarians) Joy and Lloyd traveled on their Harley from California to the Gulf Coast to help in the rebuilding of little league baseball field and a Rotarian home. She was a Rotoplast Medical Team Member traveling to Cumana, Venezuela to make the lives of the people better. Joy was a part of the selfless endeavor of Rotary Mission trips to Costa Rica, bringing medical supplies, dental care and school supplies to students.
Joy was diagnosed to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in September 2008. She called upon her faith, family, and friends as she accepted the fact that this neurological disease would destroy her Central Nervous System. She credited the Lord Jesus for answering the prayers of family and friends in slowing the progression of her muscle weakness.
Her nomination for "Woman of the Year" 2011 for the State of California was a great honor. She was looking forward to going to Sacramento on March 21, 2011 for the award ceremony.
She determined to make each day special. That determination was important for her as she worked hard to maintain peace and acceptance of her disease. She and Lloyd ventured out on several major trips following her diagnosis. They traveled to Costa Rica, South America, México, Minnesota, Washington, and even rode their Harley from Corona, California to Abilene, Texas in April of 2010. They met their goal to make each day special. Joy reminded herself of a favorite scripture in Philippians 4:3 " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Joy had very close family ties with all who survive her; Husband, Lloyd Dunn, sons, Mark (Adrienne) Dunn and Brian (Jennifer) Dunn of Corona, and her Rotary "exchange kid", Claudio Valenzuela from Chili; 8 Grandchildren, brother Kurt Hanson of Kent, WA, Sisters, Lorna Berg of Albert Lea, MN; Linda Anderson of Rochester, MN; Anita Kess of Eagan, MN and many nieces and nephews. She had a host of close friends. The parents of Joy preceded her in death. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lifestyle vs Way of Life

This isn't about a bicycling philosophy, it's about life in general.

From Fast Eddy's Flandria Cafe:

"The problem today is how to be persuasive when we ask our kids to struggle. This is the key to everything. Cycling isn't a sport like others, it's not a game: it's sacrifice, sweat and blood. With the bike you can find treasure, but to stimulate a child to look for it is more and more difficult. How do you get them to understand the value of labor?"

"Because today we live by playing, even as adults. Playing with mobile phones, sending millions of useless messages, we play games on the computer, in front of the television and on the internet. Football is a game that pulls well in a society like this. Most other sports are games. Cycling is something profoundly different: It is a way of life."

Alfredo Martini, Interviewed in Cycling Pro, May 2010


Last night we received THE CALL. Joylene Hanson Dunn, Lorna's sister and a friend for 60 years, died from ALS at about 10:00.

District 131, Grades 1 through 3. Row three, seat two. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Here's To Life

On the piano Shirley Horn was the flipside of Oscar Peterson. Oscar loved all the notes so he used as many as he possibly could find room for.  On the other hand, Shirley took away as many as she possibly could and still maintain the melody, and she gave them room to live and grow. Like someone once said, "Shirley Horn was what Diana Krall wants to be when she grows up". Normally I'm not crazy about YouTube background pictures, but the Mucha (I think) is fine.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

Over the next few days we have a loved family member who is writing the last chapter of her life book. Anything I could write now would seem shallow. For Joy.

Patience, Grasshopper

Kvale tells me that the ghost in the build queue showed up with his parts. What? I think we both assumed this guy was a figment of someone's bicycle imagination as he's been lurking unseen in the queue for a year or more. The upshot of this is that instead April, I've been bumped out to May. On a more upbeat note, Vincent Dominguez and I have come to terms on the stem for the May bike - fillet-brazed with the earlier discussed bi-laminate front lug, finished in polished nickel. 

The Surly Bill

"We brewed beer for people who didn't know they wanted to drink it until they had it." - Omar Ansari

I added Surly Brewing (no relationship to Surly Bicycles, also based in Minnesota) to my blog list. Surly Brewing, based in Brooklyn Park, brews arguably the best beer in the state of Minnesota. Of their 30 beers graded by Beer Advocate most are A rated with a couple of  A+ and half a dozen B+.  My point is that they brew some pretty good stuff.

Surly is small, at capacity with 15,000 barrels a year. They want to expand to 100,000 barrels, with a beer hall and beer garden. Present Minnesota law requires any brewery making over 3500 barrels be sold through distributors, so the $20 million expansion is on hold. A proposed new law, refered to as The Surly Bill, was pretty much ignored ...  until legislators realized that there were over a million views of the Surly Facebook Page. Facebook and other new media are putting some serious pressure on the legislators.

It's ironic, Wisconsin is fighting for labor rights; while next door, Minnesota is fighting for beer rights. It's all a matter of priorities I guess. (I am seriously behind the protests in Madison too.)

Minnesota's liquor laws are among the most restrictive in the nation, and a powerful force at the Capitol hopes to keep it that way. The state's liquor lobby has effectively quashed a litany of efforts over the years to allow liquor sales on Sunday or sell wine in grocery stores. Lawmakers and industry experts note that the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association is a well-oiled lobbying machine in St. Paul, with an ability to tap liquor store and bar owners around the state for cash and a phone call to any given lawmaker. In this photo:] Frank Ball is the executive director and a lobbyist for the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Assoc. and much of his time is spent at the Capitol.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hell, I ain't got nothin'...

...nothin' to say today, nothing this week, this month for that matter.  It'll come back with the sunshine. Been a tough winter for all of us up here in the north country fair, where the winds hit heavy on the borderline. As I told someone this afternoon, all I need is a little sunshine, a few cigars and some dirt under my fingernails and I'll be just fine. I have a request from a friend to post the Justified theme song.  We're both big Justified fans, but I don't know why he wants me to post this. He's rural and his download is so slow he has to shut down everything open on his computer, even turn off the lights and appliances, and to sit in the dark and listen to a YouTube. Here's to you all you slow people sitting in the dark:

2010 l'Eroica

Purloined from Masini:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Open Your Window

For my brother Elbert, who will never hear it because he lives in a world unencumbered by technology. :-(

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

If You know Him, You Know

Lee's Liquor Lounge

Last November I posted a video of  Brian Setzer drinking beer and playing with Wayne the Train at Lee's Liquor Lounge.  There's a lot of postings of the Liquor Lounge. This is a real homemade video - for Jackson, who claims to love Midwest bars. This is as real as it gets.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

End of Winter - 2011

10:27 this evening. 32F.  Neither the pug nor I are wearing jackets as we stand on the front steps watching the fluffy snowflakes float through the streetlight. The porchlight reflects diamond crystals scattered on the snow at our feet, filling the tracks we have just made. After subzero temperatures, 32 degrees feels damned comfortable in shirtsleeves. We both breath in deep. The air is wonderfully moist and cleansing as it passes my nose and lungs - refreshing after the brittle arid air of deep winter. I notice the buds on the magnolia stellata by the door are swelling. The pug doesn't seem to notice. He doesn't care much for flowers. His world tends to be ground level odors. Deaf and blind, he boofs halfheartedly at imagined threats. Good boy! There is still a couple of feet of snow, maybe more, piled by the plow, shovel and snowblower on our small front yard, but real spring is in the air. The longest, deepest winter since we moved to Oakwood over twenty years ago is over. There will still be a token snow or two. Maybe even deep enough to crank up the Husqvarna, but it will melt rather than lingering for months. Enough. One more year. The pug and I go in to bed down for the night. Winners again.
Cottage next door early this morning. To blow or not to blow, that is the question.

We Have a Winner

I don't mean to blow anybody's cover, but we have a winner. Congratulations! Good work.

"The editors of Asheville Poetry Review are pleased to announce the William Matthews Poetry Prize recipients for 2011, selected by inaugural final judge Sebastian Matthews from among the finalists in a blind judging process.

Michael White, from Wilmington, NC, was awarded first prize for his poem, “The Milkmaid,” and will receive $1000, plus publication in the next issue of Asheville Poetry Review (Vol. 18, Issue 21, 2011), which will be released in November, 2011. White will also be a featured reader at The Wordfest Literary Festival on May 6 at the YMI Cultural Center in downtown Asheville.

White was educated at the University of Missouri and the University of Utah, where he received his PhD. His most recent books are Palma Cathedral, which won the Colorado Prize, and Re-entry, which won the Vassar Miller Prize. His poetry and nonfiction have been published in magazines and anthologies including The Paris Review, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, and Best American Poetry. White has received fellowships from the NEA and the North Carolina Arts Council, among other awards. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington."

Snowing On Raton

For those of you out there who are forced to live flat while your hearts are in the high mountains.

Well when the wind don't blow in Amarillo
and the moon along to Gunnison don't rise
shall I cast my dreams upon your love babe
and lie beneath the laughter of your eyes

Tomorrow the mountains will be sleeping
silently the blanket green and blue
but I shall hear the silence they are keeping
I'll bring all their promises to you.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Our computer crashed Friday night. Or maybe it was Saturday morning? It was 7 or 8 years old and the hard drive had never sounded quite right. It always made a slight grinding noise. As this was report card weekend for Lorna, not having a computer for even a day or two was not an option, so after stopping at the Taco King for lunch, we went out and bought a new one. The computer seems to be a hybrid of a desktop, laptop and smart phone. That is, it has a touch screen (which seems pointless on a desktop?), there are no cables except the electrical plug, and the computer itself is integrated into the back of the screen. Whatever, it's fast, has 750 Gb of storage and works just fine. Below is a screen shot of my new home page with Gino Bartali shifting his Cambio Corsa, mostly for The Rev who doesn't think I give Bartali his proper due.  I would like to credit the artist, but unfortunately it is unsigned.

Wooden Spoon

I know a man who makes a living carving wooden spoons. This goes out to Frank Wright.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Münchausen By Internet

The internet gives a person the ability to completely re-invent themselves. I haven't acted on it yet, but the persona I'm going for is one that people seem to need to escape from. My thought is to post as an unemployed, middle-aged divorcee named Roz Ostrud. Roz struggles with life in general.

My ex, Craig didn't beat me, but after I gained weight with the baby, he started chasing anything with a skirt and now he won't pay support for me and our 14 year-old trashy daughter, Barbara Ellen. I'm on welfare since getting laid-off at the plant four years ago and we had to move to this trailer. It ain't much, but the rent is cheap. For the last two years my boyfriend Lud has promised he'll leave his wife soon and then maybe we can buy a house again. Until then while I'm waiting I spent my day mostly sitting around in my new pink fuzzy robe (Don't you just love Walmart?) and white tennis shoes, drinking Pabst and chain-smoking Salem Lights while I watch reality courtroom television and read romance novels. I have three cats named after my high school friends (I was a cheerleader, "Go Bears!") and I have a large brown mutt named Buster. "Goddammit Buster, quit dragging dirty laundry all over the damned house or I'll lock you in the damned bathroom again!" *kick* "Worthless, sorry ass animal!"  I sure hope Lud brings more beer if he comes over tonight. And Salems. Whatever happened to real men?

Now I find out other people have the same idea, but they've actually acted on it and even kicked it up a notch.

"Jeanette has a new hobby: Feigning elaborate illnesses in online support groups. "I have never felt more loved and cared for in my entire life"... more"

Downhill In Chile

If you missed it - from Johann Rissik at Fifo Riders, our man in South Africa. Don't you get the feeling that there must be alcohol involved with this somewhere along the line? This gets progressively more suicidal, but it's very pure racing. Until the asshole expert shows up at the end. Makes a fella ashamed to speak English.

VCA 2010 RACE RUN from changoman on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

No. 1: Cecil Behringer

We're going to go on a little journey back into the past. Earlier I described the Vincent Dominguez family lineage.  I thought it might be fun to post a small piece on each of his and Erik Noren's progenitors. When you trace the thread back on most of the Minnesota bicycle builders you eventually get back to Cecil Behringer.

"Quick now pupils, what's the connection between gold golf balls, $10,000 racing bikes, pacemakers, wheelchairs and dentists drills? Cecil Behringer of course." continued

A track bike belonging to Dale Brown. More pictures.

Here we see a Behringer road bike made with aero tubing and internal cable routing. More pics.

Describing Behringer as a bicycle builder doesn't really get a handle on the man. Originally I thought I could wrap all of the builders into one posting, but when you start with Cecil things get more complicated.

"Cecil Behringer was a six-day racer, velodrome designer; builder, frame maker and renaissance man! He was well know for his collaboration with Pino Moroni." - Classic Rendevous

In the late 70s he built probably the only lugged titanium bikes every made (not bonded) by brazing them in an oven filled with inert gas. Not only are there the frames with his name on them, but it seems that most or all that carry the name of his buddy Pino Moroni were probably made by Cecil too.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Paula the Everyday Hero

Recognition from the local paper for just being a good person. The one in the middle is Paula Munkberg, nee Paula Berg, when she was married to my late brother, Kirby.

Dominguez Stem

Vincent Dominguez is going to make a stem for the Kvale project bike. Maybe bright Nickel, but I'm leaning toward painting it to match the bike, probably the dark red. There has been talk of a bi-laminate front lug to match the Kvale filed bike lugs. Vincent likes that idea. We'll have to see how much extra $ he needs. 

I think the NAHBS award caught Vincent off guard. It wasn't a show bike at all. It was what he had to bring,  VDC #1, the first frameset he ever built, back in the early 2000s for his wife. It was a learning project under the tutelage of Paul Wyganowski. So much for years of practice learning a skill set. 

Vincent's lineage is probably typical for a Minnesota builder. Cecil Behringer to Terry Osell to Tim Paterak to Paul Wyganowski to Vincent Dominguez with pitstops along the way with Chris Kvale, Erik Noren and others.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Judijudijudi and the Ramones

 'Photo: Judi Jensen, Copyright 2004'

Judijudijudi is an old friend and also happens to be Lorna's cousin. (We come from a very, very small town.) I've know jjj so long I remember when she was singular and spelled with a Y.

Earlier I posted her memories of seeing a Chet Baker concert in Berlin. 

Today we get a photo and short story on a Ramones concert in Berlin.