Sunday, May 24, 2015

Trippin' 4

There's this inherent security problem with taking your bike on a driving vacation with you, if you are to have the freedom you desire, to roam wherever the hell you want.  Bikes on roof racks, or bikes on hitch racks doesn't get it done.  You have to always be arriving at a place where you can offload them and stash them into your secure hotel room, or some such other place.  What a royal PITA.  You could throw them inside your Sprinter van, if you own one, but then you have to be willing to drive your bigass van around highly congested urban cores, if those are part of where you need to go, which for us it was, because that's where our daughter is.  And then you have to figure out how to live with your Sprinter for the other 51 weeks of the year.  Make it your daily driver?  I can't imagine how that would not totally suck.  Buy another economical daily driver and park your Sprinter most of the time, and insure and make space for and maintain them both?   I can't imagine how that would not totally suck.   It's not a trivial problem to deal with, but some form of solution was a serious priority for this trip.

I really like my Nissan Frontier.  It's a small truck that is still a really capable 'truck', that suits my city life and allows me to park in a narrow supermarket parking space or parallel park downtown.  And it still has enough power to kick ass on the interstate.  So I rigged a scheme that allowed our bikes to live securely in the back of our canopy-covered-truck during this trip.  We didn't have to make any compromises in terms of where we went or parked, and I had total peace of mind throughout the entire trip, with respect to the security of our bikes.

So with that in mind, our next stop was Seattle proper.  We met up with our daughter Jacque and BF Nate and did a walkabout from their apartment, towards our destination, while enjoying some of the Seattle-unique sights.

We ended up at the renowned Boat Street Cafe, which will soon be closing, and enjoyed the most delightful  brunch.

At some point during the course of the day, J & N routed us through Fremont Brewing.  It was a lovely day in Seattle and the place was a-hoppin.

That evening, J & N prepared a Thai meal for us in their apartment.  They both work in the food industry and know a lot about what they are doing when it comes to putting a fine meal together.

While they were cooking, I was keeping an eye on the sunset from their fire escape.  Word.

Elegant, cozy.  The food was SO GOOD, and SO HOT.  We laughed until we cried over our dilemma of pain versus pleasure.  It was a wonderful meal/experience, shared with people I love, that I will never forget.

Patty and I spent the night at the Inn At Queen Anne.  Not only was it a dump, it was on overpriced dump.  But location is everything, and our desired location was close to Jacque and Nate, so it worked for us.

Damn, what a good day.

All the while, the bikes were sitting in the back of the truck, and nary one ounce of worry was expended over their safety.  So all in all, a pretty rad, comfortable, bikes-on-vacation visit to the big city.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Trippin' 3

Later, that same day, we hit the mean streets of the greater Puget Sound region, and worked our way up to Anacortes.  Destination: Friday Harbor.  Tookalongtime.  (See??  How social media is affecting me already???)

On the way, we were able to extricate Jacque out of the big city.

 The enticement being, a particular jam session:

 There was a righteous clam bake, and of course, uke-craving souls were to be filled with uke music aplenty.

At the time, I was not a uke player, and maybe at this moment I am or am not.  Whether it would have changed the story in any way?  Oh,  I think maybe it woulda.  Or maybe not.  We will certainly never know.

Irrelevant, in any case.  My bike had been locked up in the back of my canopy-covered truck bed for well over 24 hours and needed to frickin' breathe.

So we seized the moment and did a little rideabout.

Yes, I won.

Thank you for tuning in to another episode of the slowest story ever told, and good night.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Trippin' 2

The first stop on our tour was the Infinity Center, in Everett, for Patty's graduation ceremony.

She's been this rad RN at Shriner's Hospital for the past several years, working in the OR for the most immediate past several, looking at things every day like kids getting their spines worked on. Holy hell. I would faint about 3 seconds into this job, day after day, until they mercifully fired me.

The evolution in her profession is pretty much dictating that nurses get there Bachelor's degrees, even though they've already put in the equivalent of a four year degree to get their RN, but that's the reality. So she went back to school, in her evenings, and on her weekends, while working pretty much a full time schedule at Shriner's. In the middle of all the multi-tasking and study-stress, she was awarded Spokane Shriners employee of the year. The woman rocks.

She completed her coursework a coupla months ago and got her diploma in the mail. She had decided that walking wasn't necessary, or cool, or some such nonsense. If ever there was anyone who should walk it is Patty. An intervention was clearly in order.

During a timely, fateful visit from her sister Peg and family, tremendous, yet tactful pressure was brought to bear on Patty. After due process, she caved. Because, I think, she knew what was right.  And because we weren't leaving her much choice.

And so it came to pass . . .

You may or may not notice how many of her fellow graduates are preoccupied/distracted during the ceremony, and how focused she is on the presentation.  Feel free to notice.  It's representative of her whole approach to the value and gravity of what she has gone after and earned.

Almost time . . .

. . . and POW!!!

The very people that were there to intervene and get her to change her mind about walking, were exactly the same people who showed up to watch her walk.  So awesome.

Patty and her sister Peg.  The other P & P.

Patty and her niece Grace, who is about to graduate from HS with stellar grades and resume, and just committed to GU.  Woot!

I'll not get all crazy here, but how damn lucky we are to live in a country where the limits that are imposed upon us are primarily the limits imposed by our own ambitions and not our government or culture.

It's a tremendous freedom to be able to chart your own path, but also not a particularly easy one, and I am extremely proud of my wife for what she has achieved.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Trippin' 1

So Patty and I took a trip last week.  It was kinda monumental in terms of bike/vacation integration.

In the olden days, I woulda waxed all poetic about it and spun some kinda major tale.  But these are the modern daze, and the time for that type of effort just doesn't exist.  Somehow, though, the story must be told.

So I think what I am gonna do is just punch out the hi-lites, across a few posts.

Somewhere between Spokane and Ritzville, then.  So the very boring beginning,

Patty, I love you, for driving.

I just plain love you, actually.

But do me one favor, babe, and keep your eyes on the road, and not my ear, or nose, or whatever I unwittingly appurtenanced  into the scene.

Not that I don't totally dig your attention.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Social Media Integration Attempt

No, I'm not joining FB.  Hell no, actually.

I was told recently by someone I respect that I should get on board with Instagram.

Okay.  I have posted my first, uhh, I guess, post.  It's awesome.  Just put in 26inchslicks and see for yourself.

The immediate feedback I got from my new social media partner just after joining, and then again just after posting, is that I am supposed to "follow" Kim Kardashian.

Holy living hell.  What was so bad about blogs.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Patty And I

My totally arrogant vision of what my wife needs, bike-wise, to be bike-happy, is intersecting in a pretty major way with her totally reasonable vision of what we need in order to be marriage-happy.

It's a crazy deal, but we're all over it, b/c we both think it could be good, and maybe really good.  Patience with each other is the cornerstone, the foundation.  We're coming up on our 23rd anniversary, so even tho it seems at times like we don't get each other at all, I think we kinda get each other pretty well.  Or at least we're working pretty hard at it.

One point of our "agreement" on this whole deal involves me not stupidly posting pics of her on this here blog.  Which I so totally get and agree to.

But the moments are happening, and it wouldn't be exactly right to internet-ingore 'em, just sayin'.  I think she and I have a bit of common understanding on this point, and so I offer you the following:

This is a deal whereby I have come up with a way to quick-release clamp the front end of either of my fatbikes to
the bed of my truck.  It works out well, actually, and so I am compelled to blog/blab about it.

There was at least one failed iphone fotographic moment.

Lovely bikes, lounging in the exactly one piece of lovely shade we encountered.

That/s a snake, center right.  That looks like a stick.  I had him dead to rights in my iphone, for the most fabulous, hall 'o fame photo in the history of the i-net.  Until he freaked on me and booked.  Damn hard getting a good photo of a moving snake, says I.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

How To Say This . . .

I wanna tell you something, but I don't know how, exactly.  The information is marital-related, and as such, my blabbing about it on the interwebs is inherently perilous.  Mightily so, as a matter of fact.

If I was smart, I would gorilla-tape my pie hole shut until the urge passes.  Unfortunately, I have never let 'smart' be my guiding principle.

So here it is:  Patty has gotten kinda fa . . .

Oh holy hell, I can't believe I almost said that!

What I meant to say is this:  Her new bike makes her butt look kinda skinn . . .

O. M. G.  I am 5-3/4 of the way into my 6 foot grave!

What I really meant to say is that her BMI has recently gone above average.  And by BMI I'm talking about "bike mass index".  (Seriously, who doesn't know this?!?)

Shit, I'm toast.  It's been nice knowing you.


Since there's a tiny window of time between now and when I will actually be smitten, please allow me to post up a pic of Patty's new fatbike:

When you buy a bike at the Bike Swap, the first place you get to ride it is in the massive parking lot at the fairgounds.  Word.

She does seem not exactly unhappy, in this moment.  Which I will gladly take, at this moment.

One of the great perks of being a bike nerd is knowing, and I mean mofu KNOWING, that you know exactly what new bike your spouse needs, to make his or her life complete, bike-wise.  If you know what I mean.  It usually always works out, but in this case I have extra high hopes.


In other timely, imperative news, my flirtation with becoming a hobby home-machinist finally and mercifully ended this weekend.  After a couple-or-three years of being invested in a multi-hundred-pound piece of equipment and the deliberations of where to put it and how to move it and how to use it and and how to generally deal with and repair it, I'm glad to be non-deliberating.  The lathe has a righteous new owner/home, and I can't remember feeling so satisfied and unburdened.

To be clear, it would be super awesome to have the capability to go out to my shop and turn down some small bits for whatever, but I botched the execution of placing the right piece of equipment in my shop and learning how to use it at the right time, and that ship has pretty much sailed, for the time being.  I have a ton of fish to fry and that's not one of them at this point.  Godspeed, little lathe.