Monthly Archives: August 2006

Three Day Weekend-Great American Invention

So here it comes, the annual celebration of the U.S.A’s first Secretary of State, John Labor.

This is typically the least understood holiday in our roster. Often confused as an occasion to celebrate worker’s rights, it is actually a time to recognize former Secretary John Labor, inventor of the three day weekend. An extraordinary man, Mr. Labor was known to scroll 4 words per minute, an unspeakably efficient notetaker for his era. It is also said that Mr. Labor brewed a delicious cup of coffee.

After a particularly rough weekend of swilling with Senator Samuel Adams and other friends, Mr. George Washington (first president of the United States) said, “Holy Crap John, you will have to cover for me in the office tomorrow, I am going to feel awful!” Mr. Labor, quite drunk himself, suggested, “Mr. President sir, it is well within your powers as executive officer of the nation to declare tomorrow a holiday. Then perhaps, Sam could refill our pewter mugs and we could leisurely enjoy this afternoon without your nattering on about work tomorrow.”

The rest is history. Mr. Washington declared September 4th a national holiday and named it in honor of his loyal secretary- the quick thinking John Labor.

So who has some good plans they would like to share?

Mr. Labor, cue the crickets if you please…


Bells and Whistles

Is your bike an expression of your individuality?
Baseball card in the spokes-because you rock with personality?

Is your bike an extension of your attitude and verve?
Do people step back, say “Check that out!” when you come around the curve?

Is your bike just a thing, like a mower in the garage?
Or is your bike so smooth people think it’s a mirage?

Look at all that water, no wait- I don’t think so-
It’s someone on a bicycle-damn look at them go.

Is your bike an expression of your individuality?
When you step over do you say, “Sweet ride you complete me”?

Streamers, chrome, slick tires or knobbies,
checking your reflection rolling by hotel lobbies.

Is your bike an expression of your individuality?
Is your bike an expression of your individuality?

Juancho’s New Purse, I mean Road Bike!

And there you have it folks, the prophecy is fulfilled. I said not one month ago I would accept a road/touring bike into my stable under the following conditions.

1. It has to be steel.
2. It has to be circa 1985-1995
3. It has to be under $100
4. It has to function, no major surgery required

I though that I was safe. I didn’t think it could ever happen. To be honest, I have awful luck. Never won a scratch-off ticket, a flip of a coin, or gotten out of a traffic ticket. At the horsetrack I would be better off feeding my money to a horse, rather than throwing it away at the betting window, and yet- fate mocks me.

Sleeping beneath a tarp at Bighorn and Libbyllama’s house in San Diego was a 1986? Fuji Del Rey, previously abandoned at a construction site. I gave it a once over. I sniffed and sneered.

Then I put that bitch in a box and checked it as luggage. Total cost- $0.oo

Now I need to go shopping for some matching pumps.

gorging at the crow buffet

Donde esta Dixie?

I’m blogging blind here, so forgive me if I missed something. The site wouldn’t load for me.

I’ll be home tomorrow night so tell the carnies to sober up and sweep out the big top.

I am hoping for thunderstorms sometime after I land. It never rains here, just relentless sunshine, sunshine, sunshine. These poor folks, someone should start a fund for them or something.

Thunderstorms yes, and steamy, creamy grits. And bacon, not that they don’t have bacon here, but still- bacon.


Time Capsule

In the cinema tour de force “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” the boys travel across the country in search of revenge, but along the way they try out various convenience stores, hoping to find one as comfortable as the one that started it all for them in “Clerks”. They posture, they pose, they attempt to kick it, but they are perpetually disappointed.

I knew the feeling until yesterday.

I have visited a number of bike shops in the San Diego area looking for a home away from Joe’s, and it has been hugely disappointing. Soulless retail “Bikemarts” full of spiffy, appropriately tattooed sales reps and racks of merchandise are abundant, and- just not for me.

Yesterday though, I found a home away from home. The Bikesmith, located on Grant Avenue, or is it Grand? Anyway, the shop is owned and operated by a guy named Bob who simply loves bikes. His shop is a cluttered mess of buried treasure. Schooled in the high-end road and mtb developments of the last 30 years, Bob has accumulated some of the choicest rides ever. hanging from the ceiling are: Schwinn Collegiates, Varsities, & a Scrambler, A Bridgestone MB-4, a Bianchi (like the one Larry uses to kick everyone’s ass at Dirt Track) Raleigh ten-speeds from when they were made in England, Haro’s you will never see again, Motobecanes, and some seriously vintage cruisers like the Phantom, which are not for sale.

This is not a museum, and he is not a meticulous dork about it, these are just his bikes, and he can tell you what he loves about each of them and how one emerged from the innovations of another. The place is so cluttered that moving through it is like playing Tetris. Bob has a 70’s style bowl cut and although he must be in his late 40’s, the smile and style of a totally stoked 12 year old shines through his eyes. A native San Diegan, he shared pictures of the shop from the eighties, when it was wallowing in the boom of the bike/skate/scooter craze fueled by a grommet named Tony Hawk and a silly concept known as “Music Television” whatever that means.

Bob hasn’t been left behind, Bob has paid attention.

He produced a hand-drawn map of San Diego and showed from the boardwalk to the bay, the playground of his youth and lamented that kids just don’t run wild like they used to. Maybe Bob needs to shake the dust off and have a look around, because I do see the kids at the beach, weaving in and out of the grown-ups on rollerblades, but I know what he means. The kids are so culturally aware and savvy, it is easy to mistake them for 20 somethings at a distance (must be the cigarettes dangling from their lips?)

Whenever I asked about the price of this or that, he said, “I don’t know-make me an offer if you really want it”. I am as broke as poor Jennifer Anniston’s alleged heart, but I think I have to make Bob an offer on something today. It would take some work to find a place to sit, but this would definitely be my shop if I lived here. Sorry, Bob ain’t got no website.

Did I mention nothing rusts out here?

live from San Diego, CA

La Frontera

Driving into Mexico is a breeze- the wait is momentary, and I’m certain I could have smuggled livestock, a bank vault, a bale of marijuana, and a couple of penguins wearing tophats without any problem.

Coming back into the states is another story. The border crossing at Tecate is two lanes and sleepy compared to Tijuana, Otay, and others. Still, it took us 3 hours to travel one mile. Read it again: 3 hours = 1 mile, not 3 miles per hour. It was like following S’quatch down the Live Oak Connector trail.

I usually stay away from politics at the circus, but I have to ask myself, now that we are truly prisoners in our own guilded cage, are we happy? The mexican citizens don’t seem nearly as fretful as we do. Sure they have cartels, bad water, and a corrupt government, but nobody wants to murder them for their foreign policy decisions either. So, while the U.S. Border Patrol is peering into the backseat to see if we are smuggling pinatas and oranges, terrorists and smugglers are cruising beneath us at 60 mph.

I say open the border, I think our neighbors to the south can re-introduce us to some basic human values.

Adios, Juancho