Monthly Archives: August 2010


Great accomplishments often begin with an unexceptional act. A page is signed and a war begins. A woman sits on a bus and the foundations of an unjust society crack loose. Two kids in a dorm room write a math equation and Google happens. When you witness a simple act you have no ability to fathom the possible outcomes that will result from that moment, that smallest decision.

That’s what I was thinking as I rolled around the neighborhood on my first bike ride since June 1, 2010. I might be looking like Karl Rove on the skids, but inside I am a hungry Viking.


The Libritchenudio

It is time to change up the energy over here on the Heech. For three months I needed nothing but 4 hours of Wife Swap a day and a bed. Now it is time to capitalize on that investment. A 90 day retreat into the mind is a long sojourn to a foreign place and I couldn’t help but pick up some souvenirs along the way. I have a lot of projects to work on all of a sudden and I find my space inadequate and too compartmentalized.

That’s how the libritchenudio* evolved. I have everything within reach now, but I can’t sit 4 for dinner unless we go outside. It will be nice soon, not that I’m inviting anyone over per se. Ideas that germinated during my convalescence are sprouting tiny buds of possibility: the stop-motion finger puppet movie, the non-fiction novel about a novel that is about non-fiction, rescuing civil discourse, booking abysmal gigs for my stable of talent, and choreographing my paddleboat sonata. That is a lot of work and I also have a job.

The libritchenudio will help me make it all happen.


*A NOTE ON HYBRIDS: Some of you may be tempted to crow on about my previously stated stance on hybrids, and their inherent weakness and guarantee of failure. The libritchenudio is no hybrid as there is no compromising of values or abilities. The libritcheudio is not part one thing, part another, but all things uncompromised.


George Foreman knows what a bad day is. He traveled all the way to Zaire, now the Republic of Congo, to fight Muhammad Ali. People forget that George was the heavyweight champ at the time, and Ali the challenger. It must have been tough for George to ride through the streets on the way to the fight listening to thousands of black faces chanting “ALI BUMAYE!” Translated, this means ” KILL HIM ALI!”

Nobody wanted to see George win, not Don King, Not President Mobutu, and apparently not one African. Why? It was Ali’s time. As he was apt to remind us, he was prettier, smarter, faster, and stronger. With the world against him George Foreman went down in the 8th round, a victim of the rope-a-dope and a straight right hand.

An incredible to believe 20 years later, George Foreman completed his comeback bid to regain the world heavyweight title at age 46. The Muhammad Ali era had come and gone, yet here was George Foreman- still hanging around the gym. Twenty-one years after defeating Smokin’ Joe Frazier to win his first championship title George stood over an unconcious 26 year-old Michael Moorer as the heavyweight champion of the world.

George Foreman is a fighter, and so is the Wrecking Ball, and so am I.


I woke up in the dark this morning, hours earlier than usual, with a disquieting sense of urgency. Thomas Paine was in my dreams saying, “If there must be trouble let it be in my time so my child may have peace.”

The disquieting part was not knowing to which trouble I ought to apply myself.

There is more than enough to go around so how about everybody pick something today and let’s see what all we can knock out.


Vote or Die

I watched three hours of survivor footage from Hurrican Katrina last night to remind me that voting is important. Forget about storms and levees. How many of the 1,186 souls would still be with us if only someone could have gotten water to the Super Dome?

Some of you all are probably of the too cool for school, it is all an illusion non-voters who think it is all a false choice and the two-party system is a farce. Maybe no politician talks to you about the things that matter to you so you don’t see yourself represented in the process. I know how it is. I have been there too.

Honestly, I could really give a shit if Gaines street becomes the new gateway to Tallahassee. I also do not have the slightest preference for whether or not Innovation Park remains a research facility or puts in factories that make things. Whoop-de-doo y’all and have fun with that.

I do care about voting though, and I have my reasons. I don’t care if the difference between two candidates is negligible, or maybe the system is so broken that it barely matters who wins, I am going to fight for every inch. I will concede no ground, to no foe, in any venue where the battle for defining America is to be pitched.

If different people were answering phones on August 25, 2005 things might have been different for a lot of people.


Get on the Bus

“You’re like school on Saturday Rudy, no class!”

I wish I could remember all the rhymes we used to chant on the school bus. The only one that remains in memory goes something like this…

Mmm, Aye, I want a piece of pie-
pie’s too sweet, I want a piece of meat,
meat’s too tough,
I want to ride a bus,
Bus too full, I want to ride a bull,
Bull’s too big, I want to ride a pig,
Pig’s too wack, I want my money back…

Or something like that. I am counting on my siblings to find this and correct me.

Did you do this on the school bus? I remember full on foot stomping, hand clapping WE WILL ROCK YOU all the way to school and home.

Do kids still do this, or did it disappear with double dutch jump roping and Four Square?

See, I don’t rant all the time. Sometimes I just reminisce.


Meteorology is not the study of meteors. Fair?

It is more humid than Jorge Garcia’s pits in this town. It is a deceptively mild 93 degrees, but the dew point is 77. The greater the difference between the temperature and the dew point, the drier the air. A 13 degree variance spells miserable. What is the dew point to temperature variance where you are today?

Yeah. I will just wait right here while you do that.

Basically the deal is that you can sweat, but you can’t get rid of sweat. It just sits there and welcomes the new sweat coming behind it. Soon you are enveloped in a sweat blanket, which is hotter than wet wool. Unless you have someone like Charlie Hodge following you around with fresh towels, then you will overheat and fall over dead. You will be lying there with little X’s for eyes, but it won’t be a cartoon. Sometimes your head might pop off from the steam pressure.

August is no time to start an outdoor comeback.


The Archie Bunker of Liberals

I have been looking for a new “thing” to replace my old shallow identity as a lazy cyclist. I thnk I have found it. I’m going to start walking away from dull conversations. I’m not going to be rude about it, but I simply do not have the time for it anymore. I am old now, and as a Generation X’er, it goes without saying that time has been wasted, maybe even squandered, in the pursuit of great conversation. If that is all I’ve gotten out of the years then I feel obligated to stick with it.

No more dull conversations.

This doesn’t mean we can’t talk or chit chat. We can certainly still be friends. It’s just that if I excuse myself to the restroom and do not return, know that Father Time is ticking in my ear and I am off to find a better conversation. I hope you will still call if you need me, or care to talk about something else.

I’m tired of phoning it in, and I’m tired of having it phoned in to me. You don’t need me for that. You have lots of friends who would be relieved to know you just want to enjoy their company and not have any of your fundamental beliefs challenged.

Challenge mine. It is the only way I can be sure I have some.


Lumpy Carbuncle and the Greater Tuberosities

I could tell something had changed. The x-ray no longer showed the peeled-back fingernail of bone that flagged off of the Greater Tuberosity. Now it looked like a lumpy carbuncle. Was that good? Is a carbuncle an improvement over a sliver?

It turns out the answer is yes. My Greater Tuberosity will not win any orthopedic beauty contests (the interior takes after the exterior?) but it is going to function. After a couple of weeks of mobility work and light weightlifting the doctor says I can try a bike ride on a flat surface. For perspective, my first weightlifting assignment is a can of soup above my head, or as high as I can lift a can of soup. No more sling, and the pills are long gone, but I won’t forget the lessons that they taught me.

The conversation on this blog has changed, and for the better. I won’t be too concerned about writing about bikes from now on, especially since my rides will be boring for a while. I hope. I’m going into the truth-telling business around here, and anybody knows that if you really want to tell the truth, you have to adjust the facts sometimes.

Today’s truth has to do with Elvis Presley, who died 33 years ago today. If you hear Elvis’ name and immediately start cracking about “Fat Elvis” please know that your sense of humor is boring and unoriginal, and we have heard it all before, and we are not impressed. Click on the title to hear why.


*Lumpy Carbuncle and the Greater Tuberosities were the opening act for the King’s final show.