Saturday, May 31, 2008

Have you seen me?

Short, drunk man seeks 5 mm thread tapper that he bought a month ago. Never used, particularly not used for the one job he had in mind, rethreading the barrel-adjuster threads in his trusty rear der. on his cross bike.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bombay the Wrong Way

I'm still in the process of recovering from a hard push to Arroyo Seco over Memorial Day weekend. After ~ 12 hours at home after being in Santa Cruz all week, I kept after it and rode with Katie up Carmel Valley Road to Arroyo Seco on Sat. It's only about 55 miles, but attaching the BOB trailer to my road bike geared with a double was about how I expected...a lot of grinding on the granny gear. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I got there that I noticed the real reason I was going so damn slow....
This was my third time at Arroyo Seco, and I keep appreciating it more each time. It was a little bit of a zoo, but most of the people had left by Sunday night. We had a crew of about 22 that came down from San Francisco, lots of midwesterners doing midwesterner things (slamming beers and eating sausages). Even learned some new slang from a couple of Brits, "Won't you do me a lemon and pass me that....." is the new "Can you do me a favor and pass me that...".

Katie and I thought we would outsmart the hills of our initial route by heading north up the Salinas Valley on the way home, but hadn't counted on the 15-20 mile headwinds. 7 hours later, we were back in Pacific Grove to binge on food and pass out for the night.

Hopefully I'll play soccer tonight and shake some rust out of the old legs. Haven't hit the mtb trails since March, gotta make it happen this weekend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Last week's sampling was a little crazy. Not in the protective landowners way (everyone we met in Santa Cruz was pleasant and actively interested in their watershed's health), but in a different kind of way:
Unfortunately, the fires had all of the destruction of Firestorm but none of its motorcycles launching through the skylights of burning ranger stations, spinning Howie Longs jumping out of planes, or dude's heads getting rammed through the top of a canoe and incinerated by the firestorm. I remember when that movie came out and my buddy E Kafka (a firefighter) was pissed off about how unreal it was..."That's Bullshit!!".

Anyway, sucks for the landowners, and sucks (in a much smaller way) for someone like me who's been meaning to make it to the mountain bikes trails up there. Not sure what all got burned, but sounds like some trails might have gotten torched. As they say, nature is a harsh mistress.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Back to the Front

After a long winter of staring at computer screens and bustin out GIS, I'm returning to the fieldwork side of things this week. We're going up to Santa Cruz to sample 40 sites in and around the San Lorenzo watershed, so I'll be getting wet in the streams all next week. Looking forward to being in streams, NOT looking forward to sampling in a place with such a high density of privately-owned land. Seems like everyone up there grows weed or meth, hopefully they can tell we're pinching bugs from the stream and not their stash.

Never know, my time in the field might be as entertaining and well-documented as last year......

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Big Creek, Home of the Big Jilm

Took advantage of the one time a year that Big Creek is open to the public this Saturday, had a fine day of hiking. No hollering, canned beer, or tiny bikes were involved, but a nice time nonetheless.

Took D*Pow!!'s advice and took in this film Saturday night:

This documentary hangs with the alternatively-homed residents of the New York subway system. It was a little hard to see with the bad lighting and my $20 craigslist TV, but the characters were interesting. Human ingenuity, underground tin sheds, crack-smokery etc. Having DJ Shadow playing pretty constantly is a sure way to get me to enjoy a movie.

I actually liked the special features more than the movie, as they were able to go into more details with the characters, some of whom I couldn't really keep straight since they only appeared once or twice during the movie. If I ever need to learn how to make underground hush puppies with a perfect golden crust, I'm going straight after my man Clarence.

Unfortunately, the filmmaker makes a major blunder by not acknowledging the giants whose shoulders he is standing on.....

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Get Ginned Up!

Awhile back, under the influence of some gin and tonics, I sent my main man Graham an email getting his movie-buff take on "The Darjeeling Unlimited", which I found disappointing compared to Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. In his reply, he mentioned that he was pretty "ginned-up" for No Country for Old Men to come out, and I gotta say that his parlance struck me. I like equating drinking gin with getting excited about anything, even though gin and movies do not particularly mix if you care to remember the ending.

For example:
Blue Velvet - 5 gins, and maybe even a couple of candy-colored clowns thrown in for good measure.

Batman and Robin - 1 gin. Worst movie I've ever paid money to see.

Drop Dead Fred - NO fucking gins for you. I can't even remember why I hate this movie so much.
Anyway, today's movie:

I enjoyed Crumb, but probably wouldn't watch it again. I'm not a comic book guy but I've been to some exhibits of his, and anyone with a fondness the The Joynt in Eau Claire has to enjoy Mr. Natural. This documentary shows Crumb boppin' around, being a weirdo, and talking with his insane family. I enjoyed the art and his interactions with somewhat normal people. I liked some of his interactions with his crazy family, but after the 10th interview with his brother Charles who was on tranquilizers and never left his house I was growing a little bored. His other brother who sat on a bed of nails for hours a day and liked to get arrested for pulling down stranger's skirts was quite a gem himself. I did enjoy that the three them had no filters, they just said and drew what was on their mind no matter how sexually perverse, misogynistic, or racist it was.

I would recommend this movie if you have the slightest interest in watching an aging man talking about getting off on piggyback rides. If you're not interested in that, I can't help you.