Monthly Archives: October 2010

A Great Reckoning

The Universe and I are in a period of great reckoning. For every pound of flesh I owe, I receive a paid in full receipt and directions to the next negotiation. It seems no part of my life is to go unchanged this year so get on with it I say, let’s settle all accounts and see who is left wearing the barrel.

That may be cryptic, but I can’t think of any other way to say it.

This morning found me casting around for riding partners and I eventually settled on a reluctant Mystery. In a complete reversal of roles I tolerated his search for missing gloves, one more cup of coffee, and erratic pace and route selection until we finally settled in for some quality spins at the Greenway. I couldn’t be impatient as he was demonstrating something of a “Juancho’s Best Of” review of strategies for canceling, postponing, or sabotaging a ride. Being so unpracticed, Mystery had no choice but to fall in line.

After using him up, I dipped into Tom Brown Park on the way home and enjoyed a solo lap of swooping singletrack, wearing an Ipod like a common Kook. I listened to The Eels for anyone keeping track. As I tend to do, I am discovering them a few years since they broke, but better late than never I think.

And that goes for a hell of a lot of things right now.


The way it is

Some things came together for me today. If I get the girl at the end end this will make a great comeback movie. A good night’s sleep, a recent downpour, a cool front, and Munson sweet Munson Grandmother of the Woods trail. Even though HiTops just rode away on the neighborhood ride for home, I felt vindicated. There was no driving to the trailhead, no babies on board, and no plan B. I gave ’em hell in the woods for a little while, and it’s only going to get worse from here– for them.



I logged about 75 hours of work this week, in case you wondered where I went. I’ve covered Florida from the Everglades to the panhandle by air and land. As of about 1:30 P:M EST today I will be able to lay my hammer down. My only thought is to out-play my recess efforts of last weekend. The rains are gone, the muggy blanket is lifted, and fall is back in the air. If any of you loc’s are up for adventure give me a shout.

Because it is October in Tallahassee and there’s nothing better than that.


St. Crispin’s Day: Ode to Wrecking Ball

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

William Shakespeare

The Good Day

I am sticking with the durable armadillo until a more appropriate spirit animal shows itself to me. For now, the gentle and capable member of the Cingulata Order works for me.

What a great weekend it has been. There was night riding, day riding, disc golfing, frisbee chasing, cross-town marching, moonlight promenading, breeze appreciating, Wrecking Ball seeing, finger to pursed lips art scrutinizing, and Joe’s Bike Shop(ing) and now I get to cap it all off with a…

…flight to Ft. Lauderdale and a drive across Alligator Alley.

Catch you later, and don’t think of robbing me. I got a sitter.


2 Armadillo Day

Now I know why I used to write only about riding my bike. It’s because something always happens on a bike ride, so the material just writes itself. Like yesterday, I met my buddy and his 2 year old daughter out at the Pedrick Greenway. The greenway is a gigantic sysytem of pasturey-looking land with interlacing doubletracks to nowhere. The only certain way to navigate the greenway is to stay on the outside and loop the whole 7 miles back to where you start. It’s a pretty ride, with a mix of dirt, turf, and sand. It has some decent sustained climbs to work you over and it is just generally a very tranquil environment. That’s why the ‘dillos like it so much.

My friend was riding with a broken pedal and a two-year old in the bumper seat so that evened our pace out to a happy slow medium. This allowed us to quietly sneak up on two nine-banded armadillos, on two distinct occasions, they were not consorting with one another.

Not very interesting you might say? Should you say that I would reply, how many armadillos did you see yesterday?

That’s what I thought,


Lots of Day

My goal is to be outside in it until that full moon is high in the sky. I’m going to start with a little golf and move on to whatever activities make themselves available to me. I’m going to be dripping butter everywhere I go too.


I feel great. I feel like I had a lobotomy.

Anger really is an unsustainable operating system. I’m lighter now, inside and out, and I feel good. It sounds simple, but it is not. I’m wiping the slate clean. I’m rebooting the 40 year-old hard drive. Guess what? It’s amnesty day at the Big Ring Circus. I forgive everyone, even those who don’t want it. I even forgive that jackass in California. It’s over. Forget it. Sorry I just called you a jackass.

While I’m at it, I would like to take it a step further and apologize to you all. If my words have ever been unfair, or cut too close to home, I’m sorry. If I was a bad listener, forgive me. I am not in charge of the mid-term elections, the weather, the war in Afghanistan, or anything else at all. It’s just me and my thoughts in here, in this head, so I’m learning to keep myself better company on the cold, dark nights when the bad thoughts come calling. Come in bad thoughts. Sit down. Let me get you a nice hot mug of tea. Do what you need to do. I will wait patiently until you tire of me. Godspeed on your travels. Goodbye.


A Better Normal

All right, bear with me while I prepare to write the next sentence in a straight-forward, non-sarcastic manner in keeping with my new practices and beliefs…

I was explaining to my yoga instructor the other day that I just wanted my life to be normal again, like it was before the great calamity of June 2, 2010. She thought about that for a minute and then said, “Do you really think that’s possible?” I took that as a pretty negative comment for someone I’ve entrusted my shakras to, but I instantly saw the truth in the question. You can never recreate a circumstance that you have already experienced. You can buy the old house, paint it in the original colors, and put the weather vane out in the yard right where Grandma put it, but it still will not feel exactly like Grandma’s house.

I then asked myself, “What was so great about the old normal anyway?” It really wasn’t all that. You can go back and read the archives and track the frustrations of the angry monk.

“Why don’t you make a better normal?” asked the yoga teacher.

“Hmmmmm,” thought the monk, no longer angry.



Just a little memory to share with you this fine cool morning-

On my march through the Nene’s at dawn today my ipod shuffled up a cover of the song “Crazy” by the noted hacks, Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s. The song got me thinking about my friends in Bosnia, and friends long-returned from Bosnia who lived through the siege of Sarajevo, the evil destruction of Mostar, and the eventual signing of the Dayton Peace Accords.

The song was released in 1991 and within a few months the city of Sarajevo was a death trap. Buses were turned on their sides to make sniper blinds and the people boiled grass for nourishment. What supplies they could get were brought into the city carried by hand through a lifeline of tunnels. As the war ground on and the bodies piled up, all of the parks and open space of the city was used for burials. All trees were cut for fuel until they ran out and turned to window frames, tires, or anything that could burn. 10,000 people were killed or went missing.

The Sarajevans waited for help, fought back, and continued living their lives however they could. The unrelenting nearness of death brought them close to each other and to wear the badge of “Sarajevan” brought great pride.

Sarajevo remained defiant.

Wikimedia has this to say about it-

The siege of Sarajevo, as it came to be popularly known, was an episode of such notoriety in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia that one must go back to World War II to find a parallel in European history. Not since then had a professional army conducted a campaign of unrelenting violence against the inhabitants of a European city so as to reduce them to a state of medieval deprivation in which they were in constant fear of death. In the period covered in this Indictment, there was nowhere safe for a Sarajevan, not at home, at school, in a hospital, from deliberate attack.

That is why this song,Crazy, has the power to transport them back to a time when the only way they could live with fear was to dance with it.

Neka poživi Sarajevo!