Monday, March 31, 2008

Atmospheric, Economic and Global turbulence

Saturday morning I had to be a bit south of town early to get some old film that I helped make a year and a half ago. On the way back through the big buildings the sky started changing very rapidly from solid colors on one side of the sky to darkness and contrast on the other western side. I took the above images from 13 blocks North and 8 blocks East of the downtown at around 1025hrs. The top picture shows an advanced line of atmospheric anger billowing upwards into the sky emanating from the base of the horizon where Bank Of America's two major towers sit in dark contrast to a dark sky as if the buildings were responsible for the turbulence. The sky is in the middle and the bottom photo is what I saw when I looked 90degrees left of my position from the first picture. This image has significant qualities as well starting with the portrayal of where the two lines met, calm skies being overtaken by the more powerful and sinister darkness of the now. If you notice the other significant piece of the bottom image is the crucifix topped church steeple in the lower right corner dark against light with no where to hide from the rapidly approaching storm.
I know honest philosophical thoughts of a crazy guy who willingly gave up his 4million years ago prolly means nothing to you but I cannot help but make the cosmic connection between the skies I saw to the current Global status and our National(Bank Of America) economy. It was as if the power in the atmosphere was simply painting a picture of the truth for every action in science does have a reaction. As this whole thing speeds up war is accepted, excess is encouraged, waste and throw away is easy, eye contact is lost, brothers to brothers and sisters become cousins, nothing is real- it is only a decoy on the tube, the truth is not talked about just understood apparently by few, water is in short supply against an ever expanding global population and the outlook could only be grim considering there is no collective movement to actually change the direction we are traveling in to the forward future.
Sorry, this was all me, it has nothing to do with you

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm out, no wait I'm in

for last night's OTCR Sherman Branch training ride but I'm gonna be late. The SB trail is less than 10 minutes by car and last night I drove in to the lot at 1820 hrs with shoes and helmet on ready to go. I figured that I was starting some 20 minutes later than my friends had so I took off against the grain backwards knowing I would run in to them somewhere between the Lake loop and the Roller Coaster section. Riding in the wrong normal direction on this multidirectional trail I caught myself paying close attention way out ahead in an effort not to make anyone angry or run their mouths. When I saw the first on coming rider a minute before he saw me I pulled to the right side of the trail, balanced a pastoral track stand and firmly said, "Come on by". As soon as he got even with me looking splendid but sweaty in his own Mayo Jaune this man came up with the smart ass comment I needed to make my day complete. "What, going for a backwards ride?", he spat out over his shoulder. All I could do is step forward on the drive side pedal and think to his back and myself, yea something like that you lippy moron. I passed 8 riders before I found TD and OTCR. Only the first rider I passed had anything cynical to say, the others just rolled on by with me yielding to the left or right of the trail. Now with the pack in the normal direction I found my place in the woodsy pace line. The rest of the mid week trail ride was fun, not alone and the low light from the sun trickled these crazy orange/red light beams across the trees and onto the pine needle covered floor.
I shot the above image of the setting sun last night after the ride from the side of the road near the end of the county. It is weird looking, appearing almost as if the trees here on this earth are craddling the distant star so far away.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Starring in order of appearance: Jordy, me, Dejay Birch, some random SSWC06 racers and Niko the Finn who killed a bear a long while ago. He was not telling a story at the Buck Head Saloon, he really did kill a bear with his hands and an arrow because he had to or his family was going to be hurt while they were picking Lingdenberries. This edit will take you from the southern parts of Sweden near and around it's capital of 1.5million in Stockholm to points 1,250km north into Jokkmokk and the territory above the arctic circle.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rondal Lineberger, this is all your fault

I mentioned Rondal "One of the Original Founding Members of the Statesville based STEM POSSE" Lineberger in yesterdays post like I was asking someone to pass the grits. Upon further reflection I realized that nothing about my friend Rondal is like passing the grits it's more like, please pass the buritos and or any other Spanish Mexican food treat.
Back in my other life, his too in 1993 Rondal and I worked together for the man in a 1 million Sq/ft Warehouse in the hamlet of Hell on the edge of Gaston County. I was sort of in charge of some people in the small department of which Rondal was one of the more senior 20 something employees of this section of the 'Tire' department. Rondal and I balanced the whole worker bee boss thing pretty well, he would lay out of work to go ride bike or board and I would tell him that only losers lay out of work, successful humans were never sick to go play. That year Rondal decided the smart thing to do would be to take me out to the trail on Julietta's rigid Nishiti. The first place he took me for my inaugural North Carolina ride was a 5mile Single track course in Statesville called Greenbrier. Rondal had been riding for a few years and I had not but found myself following him on his fancy Carbon frame, Aluminum lugged Cadex with original Manitou fork. Within 3 miles my breathing and body system was functioning so erratically I decided to pull along side of the trail and profusely vomit in all directions. Rondal stopped and said, "Poor Bill is getting sick." (Jackie Phalen would wind up repeating that same phrase over a decade later when she passed me on course at SSWC06 Stockholm) Rondal somehow had the patience to get me through that grueling 5 miler and when it was over told me that we were going to Catawba River next, then Poplar and then we would go to Yancey's Ridge in the mountains. He had me on a half year training plan and I soon got my own bike, a geared Cannondale M400. From those early days of riding with Rondal, Shannon St. Claire, his brother Evan and Swanny I became addicted to the feeling of being on a bicycle in the woods on the mountain. Besides eating and watching my little family engage the world nothing compares to how great a bike ride is and can really be.
I moved away to Pennsylvania in 1995 for 3 more years of the successful job before all the great PA mountain riding and my own personal awareness forced me to resign my job which up until that point I had thought was some sort of success. While I was gone Rondal started moving up the Corporate ladder with several promotions all the way up to management. I came home in 98 and found out that he and I basically switched lives. I went from serious responsibility in the work place to becoming a rebel goof wanting to go outside and ride all the time. So much so I became a messenger in Charlotte to support my livity with a fraction of the income I had been used to. Rondal took on tons of work level tasks, stopped riding and would never lay out of work anymore even if I begged and told him that he was supposed to lay out, it was in his destiny. He and his wife Mary Cinnamon live up in Maiden now and he is riding again on his new squishy bike. A few weeks ago we rode together and had some laughs at Catawba and I look forward to hitting the trail with him again soon, give me a call pal anytime. Thanks so much for taking me out there and showing me what was going on all those years ago!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Over Mountain Victory Trail with historical significance and the ghosts of Revolutionary Soldiers

The base of the dam on the down stream side with The WonderBoy in place to help see the scale The WonderBoy with a sweet swooping new line on the Dark Mountain side
Make a tunnel, Jordy and TWB will enter(look way into the hole you will see them near a sliver of light)
Okay, so I followed a bit for the film documentation of getting side tracked in a tunnel
Swanny and Phil upward berming through the twisty
Jordy and the trail close to the lake, the vistas on this ride were 5 stars the whole way around
I had family not this Easter and date of my sister Betsy's Birthday which as far as I can remember back has never been on the day of Christ's Resurrection. Happy Birthday Betsy and Happy Resurrection day to all! What a day it was indeed starting at 0600hrs with the WonderBoy driving the "Bird" into my drive way and stirring Pemba into a growl in the darkness. How funny, he burned Dicky and I last Sunday but showed up for a ride at my house that was never really planned all the way through. Whatever, an adventure was about to be had in familiar territory with familiar faces, some trail familiar and a bunch refreshingly different, fast and clean smelling. Within a few minutes of TWB's arrival I had a brew firing up on the stove and I had belled up Jordy of the Toon telling him a road trip was on, his reply let me know that within the hour he would be up. We were early out and on the road north for any riding between here and N. Wilkesboro's Kerr Dam recreation area where we were going to ride Dark Mountain first and then meet Swanny and Phil on the other side of the dam for a new trail tour at 1300hrs. We looked off of 77N for a little while in search of a trail that did not exist then decided collectively to get north for Dark Mountain where we were greeted by Bells playing harmoniously from the amplified steeple of the small stone church when we got out of the car on top of the Kerr Dam. Over the dam and around the Burn 24hr course clearly marked with small glossy images of the Burn. When we came out of the trail we had a bit of time to kill before meeting the ride so we shot images on the down stream end of the Kerr Dam, not often enough do we get to see such varied landscapes.
It was good to see my ole friend Mike Swanson on this day, he was on his new 29'er TI Bike. Swanny and I first rode together at Poplar Tent in 1993 when I was following Rondal around from trail to trail on his former ex girlfriend Julie's Nishiti, that's right Nishiti. Swanny knew the Over-Mountain Victory Trail which holds Revolutionary historical significance and these really cool 30ft berm sections both up and down the mountain. Our 3hour adventure included tunneling, exquisite fat single track up and down, pine trees, clear water, laughter, clouds against an azure sky, an out of control knee skinning disaster after the clip of a fixed gear driven pedal and a few narrow shallow creek crossings. This was an out and back style trail with a slightly different and longer leg on the return part, the total mileage for this part of our ride was around16. On one of the descents my drive side pedal hit something I never saw and pole vaulted me and the bike off the front. It happened so fast that it was over before it started ending with a forward knee rub into the hard packed earth. No blood, no foul, oh wait there was blood on my right knee and this is not basketball. That crash was a reminder that fixed gear on a mountain bike can never be assumed the normal reaction to impediments on the trail as if I were to have been coasting. What a great ride indeed, thanks Swanny for showing us something so fast, fun and new.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Header Image

In some way if at any point in the future forward you see this image up on the movie screen in the front of your mind remember that I see this as one of my most fascinating photographic experiences ever. I took this shot from across the room at a local Bistro in the middle of the day in June of 2006 without the awareness of the subject who I recognized from 8 years of random street side conversations up in the Jar. Hugh L. McColl Jr. also had no idea that I had just looked across at him posing without a pose in that light and thought to myself that he sort of looks like a classic Norman Rockwell painting. I think the WonderBoy was close by at the bar with me and I came up with the idea for a manual exposure reeled in with the aid of this little digital machine(Cannon A-620Powersot) that was in my messenger bag at the time. I swiveled in my stool because this scene was basically over my left shoulder, I do not remember standing up but I do remember pulling the telephoto back and there it was, one exposure giving consideration to my breathing and the stillness in which I tried to hold the camera.

A few weeks later I made the first print of the image at 12" x 12", toned with digital Sepia in the electronic dark room. I masking taped it up on a wall in the house and lived around it for a few weeks before I decided to make another print of it slightly bigger at 12" x 14", mount it on a non acidic white board with 2" border and present it to the subject in a manner that would not appear as if I were stalking one of the main players responsible for the present economic vitality of the Charlotte region. The day I brought this mounted image up to the Jar I sat in front of the Corporate Center and wrote a little explanation on a card that pictures Mahatma Gandhi wearing a sheet around his waist writing on a tablet, above him were his own words, "An eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind." As it happens a week before I purposely picked out this card the Israeli Army had just leveled Beirut in an effort to destroy any life that gets in the way of their plan to rid the world of Hezbollah. Just then my friend Aundrea walked up said, "Hello" and asked me about the picture on the board. I told her what it was and why it was here and she said that she personally knew Mr. McColl's CFO(for you SS mountain bikers out there CFO means Chief Financial Officer) who could surely get it to him. She made the call and Kathy came down to the street smiling saying something like she had never seen such a picture of her boss. I thanked the both of them for answering my telepathic call and rode away.

A few weeks later I received a personal thank you letter from Mr. McColl in where he describes what he sees in this photograph. On his cursory examination he sees through the light to a picture of what retirement means to him: healthy lunch by one's self, glass of red wine, sudoku to stimulate the mind. As an added note he mentioned that he appeared older to himself than what he had imagined. Incidentally he remarked that he liked the card and perhaps we should send it to both the Israelis and Hezbollah, he got it. The nicest thing to me about the letter was that he mentioned that he planned to give the big picture to his wife for her 68th Birthday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mr. Rohloff and Me

Last year during the Trans Germany on stage 4 just before the start I had a major frame failure that had me riding the day on Matthias Mende's Rotor with Rohloff Speed Hub locked out for Single Speed. That day I had to deal with the disappointment of mechanical failure and the mental problems that come along with having to rely on someone else to accomplish my goal. The stage ended in Bischofsheim where I was greeted by a grinning Matthias who wanted to know how his bike rode set up in Single Speed fashion. We chatted for a bit and I told him that I would see him later at the nightly Pasta Party. Shortly after I finished my meal in the firehouse of Bischofsheim Frodo's Justice found me and delivered a message over my shoulder. "Mr. Rohloff is here and he would like to talk to you", Frodo whispered. I followed our new friend through the crowd and he took me right to Mr. Rohloff, Mrs. Rohloff, Matthias, his stoker and Albi. Doc Rohloff shook my hand and asked me about the SS ride on his 14 speed internally geared hub. I told him about the day, the bike and the gearing. Matthias is over 6 feet tall and the frame was huge, the seat post sunk all the way down was not enough. Albi almost exactly my size, stepped forward with his little Rotor with Rohloff hub and told me to take the bike all the way to Oberwiesenthal. We stood around drinking delicious beer while this group of humans stripped Albi's Rotor of cables and shifters and then locked out the hub in the equivalent of 34 x18 on 26". I thanked them for their help and Doc said he and his wife would see me in Oberwiesenthal when the race was over. That he did for 4 days later on the last Alpine Climb before the final descent Doc and his crew were singing a rap song with amplifiers pulling us up, "IT'S YOUR NATURE!" There were rolling high fives at the apex of the climb and then this amazing final descent into the finish. Beer, Champagne, smiles and the return of Albi's bike with brand new Race Face Carbon seat post and WTB saddle. A few weeks later when I was back in the USA someone sent me a link to Mr. Rohloff's Web site where he published these words about what he saw in the efforts of Becky and I. I am forever thankful for the genuine kindness of Mr Rohloff, Matthias, Albi, Frodos Justice and the entire German Rotor crew for helping me accomplish what I set out to do, without them I would have been left behind with my broken Spicer in Frammersbach.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Charlotte's own Uber Commuter takes the Silkroad

The man and his machine That looks like a big rotor
The way the generator hub shined back at me, gave me power so that I can see
Mr. Rohloff's million dollar hub, more about Mr. Rohloff to follow
A bike built with a rack in the design


Meet Bill Clay Charlotte's Uber Commuter and his bad ass Silkroad(when you see a differently colored word in my blog it will be a link to somewhere from this day hence forth)that he purchased in Freiberg while on a 10 day tandem bike tour with his wife in Germany this past October. Here is the link to the North American Silkroad distributor. Bill has been living in the Queen City for 11 years of which 8 he has been a dedicated bicycle commuter only using the car on average of one and a half times a month. His route is 11 and a half miles of neighborhood connectivity from south east of town up to the Gateway Center in the Jar. Over coffee the other day Bill told me that his route is relatively calm and peaceful lack about 1 mile of Randolph Rd that he side walk surfs(I swallow my pride every day on the stay alive utilizing the sidewalk on Lawyers Rd, Albermarle Rd and Central Ave, it is key to long term survival)to get back in to the tranquility of neighborhood roads. Physical exercise, mental health, the environment, the love of being outside and experiencing different input other than just being in the car are some of the reasons Bill enjoys his commute. He has had two close calls over the years one if which happened while he was stopped at a light near the CPCC campus. Just as the light went green a jack ass car viper driver came accelerating from behind him through the intersection and missed hitting him by less than 18inches. Car drivers are not going to deter this Uber Commuter from continuing his mode of transportation. Bill suggests more ordinary folks should plan a good route, buy the right bicycle and get started riding as a day to day existence. Both he and I recognize that once you start it will be hard stop and we all would love to see more ordinary folks on bikes here in Charlotte~

*I have to start paying attention.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

CMA presents: "Shout" crank it loud!

Starring me, filmed by The WonderBoy(with my fabricated helmet mount), edited by me, Musical Lyrics by Paul Hewson. The Wonder Boy shot these 2 clips of me last spring while I was on a job from the Courthouse to the City Building then from a location on Hill St back through the Panthers entropy up to the Jar. I selected these two clips to be the first edit of a multiple scene project, notice the fade transition. If you make it to the end of the last clip you will see me complete a FIXY REVERSE 360 and pull out of it without dabbing. Yea for me! More importantly, Yea for the WonderBoy for getting it on film even though the second half of the clip is slightly rastorized because the WB made an adjustment on the camera without the permission of the cinematographer which means the quality of forever stuck there. Yea!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

PEMBA ALERT, PEMBA ALERT-plus weekend report

Smiling Dog Out in the woods
As you can see Pemba bares a striking resemblance to our Honorable Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice so if you care to change her name to Pembaleezza that would be fine.

Meet Pemba, the 2 year old pit bull and future trail hund who smiles with her entire body. Two weeks ago this fascinating love lush found St. Lissa on her run home from the bus and walked up on our porch like she owned the joint. Pemba never really left and our pack of three existing(all of which are previous rescues) welcomed her in for a fostering situation completely. Pemba is a high energy, family orientated, kid friendly, perimeter protective, pre-Roman Empire, black felt feeling fur breed with individual markings including white feet, a white paint dipped tail and this weird side tilted kite looking white blaze on her neck. With the grace of being accepted into the HALO program we have had her spayed, vaccinated and given the all around good to go medical style. We are fully prepared to foster Pemba until we place her in a good home and with people who will see the light in this ones eye but we need your help. If you know anyone who may be interested in taking Pemba into safe environment please contact me right away. As a further favor would you please take the time to email link this wondy pet out to those you communicate with. Thank You Very Much and please ride safely,


Down Bee Hive yesterday
Fixy mountain blurrs the vision
(pictures courtesy of Rich)

This weekend was fairly productive starting Saturday with getting Pemba registered for adoption with Project Halo at a Dog adoption fair at the US White Water Center formally Catawba Mountain Bike Park. The rest of the day was spent with small domesticated projects at the house. A high light to Saturday was an intense game of chess that Ms. Arcen and I stalemated on.
Sunday I left the house early to catch the 12 Dollar round trip Dicky Train to Wilsons Creek recreation area on the eastern edge of the Pisgah. We were riding up from down below the dirt mounds before 0900hrs for the climb up 181. Three quarters up to Greentown we jumped into the descending Headley for a fun little early Single Track section. At the end we met up with Rob, Rob and Blair who we joined for the 181 climb again up to Gingercake then Raspberry. The descent was fun there is no real steep just rolling fun. Up towards Greentown then more fun descending a bit steeper and a bit more methodical with this fixeg gear interim solution to new wheels on the way. We crossed the lower creek which was cold and the water was up making for an intensely alive feeling on my legs below the knee. Rich and I said so long to Rob, Rob and Blair after the creek and climbed out to go right for Bee Hive. When we entered Bee Hive I felt great, in control of my ride and machine going downward in the mountains. Fixy seems to work well with the knobs in the woods until it gets ass off the back steep then nothing is real and there is nothing to get hung about. On one of the lower steeps a hundred yards from the end I felt the rear wheel coming off the ground, front assist brake only caused the wheel to raise even higher. At that point I had no idea what to do or what was going to be next. Next was a crash over the bars and into the sloping rocky terrain on my bad shoulder....ugghh. I had a quick painful feeling that turned to nausea that lodged in my brain for an hour or so then went away. It was a great day and I was home around 1600hrs to help contribute to a delicious family meal with 4 hours of daylight to spare.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mini STYRO BERG field Ahead!!

Another Styro Anomaly is making it's presence known in Charlotte. The other morning I took notice of this major Mini Styro Berg field in front of the Eastland Single Track Ridge. While traversing the field of exploded Styro I was reminded of the Uptown Styro Snow storms that we have been tracking. Upon further reflection I realized that Global Styroing may be connected to the rising temperatures on the earth that we have come to know as Global Warming.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Significant Emotional Experience-40X, the bus never taken

Yesterday morning for whatever reason I saw my mountain bike under me set up at 32 x18 bolt on Mercification fixy style just like it was in Uwharrie Sunday but now I'm Staying Alive on the urban commute. Out of the neighborhood with roughly 33% more revolutions and a knob load of resistance more than my work bike and on to the actual nasty of Lawyers to Albermarle and The Centrolian Split. I felt sort of stupid as I was traversing the East Side Universe on this machine concluding through the ick that my ride in could have me late on the mail by 15 minutes and somehow I was already late. Centrolian Split. Through the side walk mini styro berg field hearing the Rampage purr as the little climb up to the Eastland Mall single track Ridge started, knobs like dirt and now they had it. Funny gnarled roots on slightly sloping terrain down leftward towards the buzz of three abreast auto vipers(Travis Hugh Culley-I think) headed in to nothing. Two small sections of dirt up a 135 yard hill to the CATS Eastland Transit Station where I can make out small humans waiting for their lumbering mammoth(dicky) and stealthy escorts in to the Jar. Still on grassy dirt, the hill is gone and I can see the humans getting more discernible in the shallow morning distance as I transfer back to the rigidity of the crete slab. Just on CATS property I recognized one of the faces standing next the 40X sign, it was Michelle who not only works at the store I print some of my images at but is friends with my rookies better half. We waved and I gave her the "hell oh" just like Holt woulda and kept on with the direct drive right on by. A couple dozen feet later I realized I had strapped on a bus pass(It had been there since I was sick earlier in February when I took the bus home one time) in my pouch which would allow me to get off this thing on the street and read my new spiritual music book that Botzie found. I turned back and rolled up on Michelle quietly asking her when was the next 40X expected? She told me that she believed it would be here in less than three minutes and that it would have her at the Uptown Transit Center just before 0845hrs.
I looked at my phone, it was 0831hrs one minute after I was supposed to be picking up my mail which meant that I had to take the bus or I was going to create a problem. Just as I was talking about taking the bus to celebrate my freedom Michelle said, "Here it comes now", then she asked, "What freedom?" When I went to put my bike in the rack the rear wheel seemed to drop in perfectly but the 2.3" Rampage wanted nothing to do with such chincy(Ian), narrow garbage. I pushed down, the fatty 2.3 just would not go and to make matters worse, the arm you pull out to go over the fronty barely came up on a quarter past the break of the wheel. I think that normally the arm winds up at least over the top of the wheel, "round and about 2/3rds to the top", in full Ligget brogue. Oh well, looks good enough for government work I thought to myself as I put my paper ticket into the machine up side down which made the bus driver smile and politely correct me. I sat down just to the right of the driver in what is normally prioritized as a handicapped seat(thank god there were none on board) next to a man who asked me if I knew Steve Mills. "Of course I do", I said, "He is a local photographic artist and a rookie with the bottom feeder, Courier Net". Just then the bus lurched forward and my heart rate picked up almost double, more than had I been pedalling. I looked out the front window as we went accelerating up Central and saw my only Mountain Bike shivering on the frail little appendage of the mammoth. Shit. "Maam, does my bike look right to you?" She never looked away from the road but made it clear verbally that I was not getting a new bike on the city. No, I thought that is not what I'm saying, do you not understand I don't want my bike to go up under this thing. The left hand light onto Sharon was red and she looked across to my eyes and said that she would give me a chance to fix it at the next stop on Sharon.
There was a pause and an audible inhale sound coming from the entire bus of humans who I realized at that second were and had been paying attention to me when the doors opened to a riderless stop. I got out, walked around to the front of the bus and tried to get the arm up a bit more, the 2.3 was not giving way and I did not want to let pressure out because like a wasteful American I was only carrying CO2. Her eyes were cutting to me through the window and communicating with hand gestures to try harder. I made the best of it by walking back on to the bus being greeted by eyes of the random and the familiar who watched me sit back down accepting the reality that my bicycles fate had already been written. It mattered not for my heart was still connected to the steel through the glass all the way across the Indy Pendance 500.
I found a shyness in my tone that reminded me of the way that I used to talk to adults while growing up as a responsible young man when I asked her over the vibration of a smooth ride if I could get off at McDowell Street if my bike makes it. Once again never looking up from the road she verbally conveyed that not only could I get off at McDowell Street but if my bike does not make it that means she will have run over it and I could still get off at McDowell Street. Eyes from the first three rows and some deep were still looking at me, I was the animal not to be fed so I felt but never thought. How did my brain know what my heart did not? We came down off the beltway and up across McDowell, the bus slowed and then stopped in front of the 6 story county jail to let only the guy who knew Steve Mills and I out.
When I stood up with helmet buckled there was a small quiet level of applause, genuine but soft not loud. Then voices started to speak from the mouths of the eyes that had been staring at the bike guy actually on the bus not out riding next to it. Comments like, "We're rooting for you", "Stay Safe", "Keep up the good work", "Go, Go, Go" all came flying out at my energy from multiple humans who saw my energy as something that they recognized as real and different than theirs. I raised my hand exiting the bus and quietly said, "Thank You". I looked back once, the entire bus seemed to be one huge smile. Each of those people were sending me positive electric emotional balls of fire that were going right through my chest. As I took my bike off the rack the driver gave me a nod and a smile, without saying anything she told me that she recognized me not as an impediment to what she was doing but a contribution to something positive. That's when my tears started, I ran along side and jumped up on the Zion powering away for the mail. Dammit, I can not ride the bus again for at least 2 years.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Heavy Mail but I'm not complaining

Blog update:Don't miss yesterday's video post, my fault it went up late.Every morning my work day starts at 0830 hours with a mail pick up for 2 firms from the Main US PO in Charlotte. The Stay Alive sends me right into the dock at the PO and usually my mail is waiting in 2 nested tubs on the dock run by the most angry Postal Employee I have ever encountered. Over the weekend leading to Monday there is an extra sort day which can mean that Monday is heavy as it was 2 days ago. I picked up 2 full tubs(one stacked with law books) for my S College client and 1 full tub for my 214 N Tryon client totalling around 50lbs. I straddled my bike down at the dock and struggled to hold 2 on the bars as a base while I floundered with the heavy full one that I could not get on top. Red Face, a driver for one of the scary car courier companies saw my struggle and offered his hands and mind to help. He saw that I could save 2 inches in height if I rearranged the tubs and then with me clipped in, hands in the cockpit he skilfully stacked the tubs on my bars so I could roll out of there. The entire mile and 3/8ths with that on the bars was a very painful experience in my left arm just trying to keep the freight balanced enough as to not fall over. When I came to the first drop I asked my contact Steve to take this picture with my camera which I wrestled out of my bad while never taking the mail off and holding it up with a foot on the ground. I'm not complaining about what I carry , I am just compelled to share what I see and do. A few years ago I carried a BOB trailer around for a long time when the mail was worse, add a client and you have 4-7 tubs a day. Thankfully that client began an internal mail drop from the P.O. and I could leave the BOB in the barn and only have to deal with a paltry amount manageable on the bars.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CMA presents: The Second Effort

Well, here is the second CMA Street Film production that I edited over the weekend from a film I made on Wednesday. It has always been in my minds eye for as long as I can remember, all the way back to grade school to actually be able to do what you are seeing below. I know that the first 2 films I have posted for your viewing pleasure have been very basic but the idea is there and I will go the long way ahead to make a more polished finished composition. Over the weekend I figured out through my own tutorial(and calling CSG) how to take multiple clips and marry them together, cut them or elongate them, fade the transition and match up the music to the full length I'm looking for.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Portrait of a Poop Fly

Make way, this thing don't stop Fixy over the crystals has been the Header Image on your screen and the screen above my kitchen sink for over a week. The Fly is the first poop fly of the season that had flown in through an open door and commenced buzzing around my kitchen which is what drew my attention to it. I saw it land on the white counter top in full sun and the contrast of it's resplendent blue body made me think of the getting the camera real fast. When I returned the fly had jumped up on the sill and started walking around on the open window and screen with full sun still flooding the scene. I took a ton of really close shots adjusting to macro and trying to put the lens almost on top of the fly. Some of the shots show it actually wiping it's hands together giving me the impression that he was thinking, "Goody, Goody". I chose the one above to post because after I cropped and enlarged the composition was the most definite of all the shots. I do hope you see something in the picture, I do not think a fly is normally taken in that big through the visual cortex.
Header Images will change randomly and I will do my best to keep you informed as to what was going on when they were made.

Weekend Report:
Out to the UwharrieNational Forest yesterday for a 3hour ride on my mountain bike with an 18tooth rotor mount bolt on cog fixed gear style. Rich scooped me up for the hour easterly drive to the oldest mountains in the world. I had not been fixed mountain biking in a few years and because I have a new wheel set hopefully on the way from Asheville real soon I sold my primary wheels and are using my crappy back up for a fixy project during the interim. It was amazing to not coast on the trail, the force was constant and powerful. The downhills there are not technical like Pisgah but on a fixy nothing is normal, more like floating madness. Fun time out in the woods for awhile was had by all 2 of us. Photos(credit: Dillen Photography) just came in over the net of me riding through the creek and over some broken crystals which are the remnants of the center of a mammoth mountain that millions of years ago loomed over my head.

Orphan dog that is an amazingly graceful creature has been with us since Thursday after following St Lissa home from a run. Over the weekend we lined up her vaccinations and spaying for this week. After that I will go public with Pemba's picture, stats and profile for you or someone you know to be able to take home and love. We are only fostering Pemba for the short haul, we already have 3 and 4 just is not in our perpetual future. So, with that said get ready to meet Pemba soon and please have your thinking caps on in an effort to help us place her in a loving home~

Friday, March 7, 2008

TGIF-Images of the week, PLUS!!!

DO NOT MISS YESTERDAY'S premier: my first editing attempt of making a movie and then dubbing over a tune that I borrowed form one of my favorite bands, thanks Mr. P Hewson. I have just seen my world open up a bit to the voice inside my head that has been telling me for years to CREATE. Future forward you will see more CMA video street clips. Have a great weekend, just like they tell you on the elevator!

Styro Snow and grit butts collecting

brrrr, styro snow, oh yea it is 67F degrees
Rainy day dedication, hooo-ra

I did not know Fujis were allowed
Hugh McColl sighting

Heather in the wind

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Eureka-Turn this one up loud for sure Captain!

Yesterday I sought the council of Tim the Guru of all things data related at my place of employment and asked him what was the cheapest or free soft ware that I could get to do some video editing. I told him I would like to do audio over, voice over and link some clips together. House jumped in and they both concluded that I had Windows Movie Maker already on my operating system and that should be a good place to get started. "I am a moron" was my first thought, my second was that I have been saying that a lot over the past 38 years. I went home, opened the ole PC and there it was the ability to have been doing this for just over a year staring me in the face like every other opportunity I have ever had and not taken. So here ya go, more to follow of the CMA Street Minutes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

CMA(Charlotte Messenger Association) Presents:

Minute clips, views from the streets. The above vignette was shot by me on my Lemond Fillmore yesterday, sorry about the audible wind noise(turn way down Captain!), I have that problem fixed for the next shoot. The night before I spent over an hour but under 2 fabricating the head that would mount to the center of my stem and temporarily replace the stem cap. It's just like my friend and 2006/2007 UXC cinematographer of the year Pvt Calvin Grant used to say, "Why buy it, when you can fabricate it?" The head itself is made of recycled(except for the zip ties, I am working on a more environmentally friendly bolt on method)parts including a bolt, washers, a lock nut from the work bench and the rubber piece that comes on SPD shoes covering the cleat mount.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Styro Snow Storm

A few weeks ago while up in the Jar on the job Rich asked me about the heavy styro snow falling on the 100 and 200 South blocks of College St. Up until that minute I had not really seen the styro snow he was talking about even though I conjured in my mind what it looked like. My route is different than his and his client is right at the 200 block so he has direct exposure to this urban atmospheric anomaly. Soon after that convo(short for conversation) I was dropping a TWG job to the BB & T building at the intersection of 4th and College when I caught myself staring out the big first floor windows at a styro snow squall. In the canyon between the building I was in and the one across College it looked like a winter scene. Light pellets of styro foam dust from the ripping of styro foam boards in the inside construction of the new high rise and Epicentre going up across the way. The styro snow was falling very fast and of course the wind naturally drove the styro snow as if it were actually snow.

This past Friday I picked up 2 tubs of mail at 0830hrs, delivered the first to One Wachovia then proceeded north on College towards my next drop. When I crossed into the 200 S. block the styro snow storm started. The wind was blowing it everywhere from up high and off of the ground swirling around in little blowing drifts. At first I thought, how funny I'm ridding through a styro snow storm then all of a sudden I felt some of this white stuff from the sky above try to go into my throat with an inhale. I closed my mouth and lowered my head into the tub on my bars and watched some of the construction workers milling about on the ground hiding their faces as well. I guess they too did not want any of the styro snow to lodge in their lungs. What a weird feeling for just over 3 blocks.

I locked up and headed for the door with an annoying feeling in my right(good) eye. Good Morning to 2 clients in the box and up. I was facing the mirrored doors as they closed and then saw the annoyance that was a flake of styro snow half up under my top eye lid. I dropped the mail tub and I think audibly said, "Dammit" with a client staring at me in the reflection. I pulled my top lid up and tried to get the styro snow flake to stick to my finger tip. That just pushed it up some more which caused me to say, "Dammit" again. I blinked a few times and then was able to push it off of my eye and onto my finger. "Ha", I exclaimed, "Styro Snow". The ladies that I had almost forgotten about who were standing behind me looked scared at first then they laughed. I told them as they exited the box to watch out for the styro snow.

This really happened.
Apology Edit: This morning I was late, trying to leave on the East Side Stay Alive a bit early to beat what I thought was on coming rain and I posted me bloggy without a reread of a crappy piece of work littered with grammar and usage mistakes. I came in to the Uptown and read my lack luster works and made the appropriate changes to comply with the English language. Any mistakes still left are left with intention for which I apologize as well.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Flashback: Bike Love

Here is a picture of my friend Ian's room mate Bruce at the Asheville Bike Love party. I talked to Bruce for awhile that night before I put together the connection with Ian. He told me about Pisgah Works and gave me some stickers with the ideas logo. Honestly it was so loud in there from the music and the beer was flowing so I don't think I have any idea what Pisgah Works is all about. I did get the feeling that what ever it is, it's a positive force in the world spreading the love of bicycles.

Before you ask, the weekend was busy with laborious domesticated chores and an interesting local ride at Poplar yesterday. Two weeks ago my neighbor took down a big maple tree that wound up in my yard in 8-10foot sections which I wound up cutting and splitting. Saturday I took down another smaller maple right on the edge of my yard that's crown has had shock growth for the past two years. This was the first real tree drop I've done in 5 years and to make matters a little more sketchy the 50 footer( I judged 50 because the top was roughly ten feet above the 40ft light pole close by, real close) was less than 20 feet from my neighbors garage. I climbed up to the left hand leader first and dropped a 15 foot section of it straight down. Then I got in position to take down the other main leader which ran from where I was to above the light pole. I thought with family watching that the drop would be just inside the light atop the pole itself, I judged wrong by like 6 inches. The saw buzzing, me 25 feet up and there fell this top leader straight down clipping the hot wire and supporting cable causing the pole to spring((Boinggg)) as well as the wires. Switch saw off and soon the pole and wires stopped moving to the cheers of the family or I mean smart ass comments of the family. I cut that and split it that day by sun down. Yesterday morning I went to Poplar and had a fun time for a few hours. When I came home I spent the rest of the day moving the split two cord to it's final stack, one and a half cord under the car port and the rest under the side roof of the barn.