Friday, January 29, 2010

Gloves on the Floor

I took this image of two Junior couriers' gloves gas drying warmly on the floor heating vent of the Bank of America's Corporate Center in the main lobby. Gloves on the floor
Gloves on the floor
looking like a greenhorn
with your gloves on the floor.

Gloves on the floor
Gloves on the floor
hey rookie pick your gloves
up off the floor.

Gloves on the floor
Gloves on the floor
Cap flipped up with
your gloves on the floor.

Gloves on the floor
Gloves on the floor
Acting like a newbie G8
Wackenhut will show
us to the door.

Gloves on the floor
Gloves on the floor
thinking like dry hands
is a score.

inspiration Larry Platt-referred to me by Team Dicky Inc.
Gloves on the floor, you call yourself a Courier
Downtown with your gloves on the floor...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No duh...

I mean no the, fixed by dropping the of.

Uptown Charlotte: Signs of Progress

As promised in a true story that I wrote last week, I bring you Charlotte's latest effort in moving forward into a more balanced future for all: THE DISCO CHICKEN. I have displayed an image that I made the day before yesterday of this urban fowl art and local investment in courage up as my header image. Notice that the photon ruckus refractions bouncing off of the subject were not computer generated, altered or enhanced. That light is doing what light does off of all the little mirrors that make up this over sized bantam statue. It took me a moment to move the camera into the exact spot to catch those light beams as they were at one 500th of a second. Hopefully an auto viper pilot does not become temporarily blind after driving into the path of one or more of those reflection beams when the sun is a bit low in the afternoon sky. Sounds like an accident waiting to happen but then again who is thinking about anything these days.

This cultural advancement of what someone is calling art makes me even that much more proud to call Charlotte home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Toonion & Toonpire

Daily for the last few weeks while riding the various roads of Charlotte I have been actively seeking signs of the city's effort to be bike friendly. I have found no less than three places where bike lanes that were never there before begin then end abruptly back into the nothing that was there prior to them being sprayed white on the road. My intrigue deepens as an actual user of these in town cycling improvements when I realize that some designated lanes make no sense at all and are disguised to trick the auto viper into sharing not sharing the road or gutter 18 inches from the curb. I have had a few close calls recently with some big autos, one of them was an American Bailed out cash for clunker in trade of less fuel efficiency Chevy Avalanche being driven by an oblivious human in active blackberry pursuit of 4 million. Upon further reflection I realize that one day someone who knows me will say to another of my friends, "Did you hear Bill was killed by an Avalanche?" That person will respond, "What a shame, where was he, Shishapangma?" Shaking his head, the answer is blunt, "No, he was on 3rd Street trying to get to the Courthouse." If I am gonna go out by an Avalanche I surely hope that it is not the four wheeled version. This post is digressing faster than the health of the planet so I think I should end it here and get ready to ride.

The Sky is clear and in the south east the sun is rising to create orange, pink, purple and peach colored light filtration of various contrasts apparent. These colors are right in front of me through a big window and will be gone soon. The now however is a bright painting in the sky that I have seen before.

Signage and monies spent expressing the obvious truth. I am curious to know how many cyclists use this lane.
The inevitability of an abrupt ending.
Reverse angle exposes the truth about this bike friendly intersection. The cars on the left turning right as they exit the John Belk usually use the bike lane to merge onto the Avenue. I stood there for 5 light changes and watched this lane sharing behavior of the cars. Out of every five cars, three of the drivers were either on the phone or they were holding one in their hand as they sped by.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Charlotte Mud Pie Eating Contest Official Results are In!

I thought it was going to be just another mountain bike race but as it turned out there was an added bonus side competition at this weekend's 2010 Charlotte Mountain Bike Winter Short Track Event. A Mud Pie Eating Contest!! After the race and apparently without coordination, the racers were encouraged to eat as many mud pies as they could in 45 minutes. The competition was dirty, wet and smelled a bit like methane gas. The trick was on the pie eaters because the judge decided after all of the pies were devoured that he was not going to count the amount of pies consumed by the contestant to rank the athletes, instead he would pick the winner and podium based on the aesthetic appearance and presentation of the participant's faces. Con-gratulations to all of the mud pie eating competitors for your strong efforts, you are all winners on my blog!

After taking a look at the smiling countenances of the field I have come to a judgment of the top three finishers in the Mud Pie Side Competition and Tuesday inane blog fill at the Traffic Stop.

The Podium:

3rd Place from Statesville NC, the home of the original Stem Posse eating for Team Shrek Bike Store is Bruce Stauffer. Don't look so sad Jamie. I know you ate more pies than Bruce did but you do not have as much mud on your face. Plus Bruce looks a little like a young Bobby Deniro.
2nd Place in the +40 category is Monroevian Eric Hagerty eating mud pies for Team Carolina Bicycle Company. If Eric had not had his protective mud splatter eye protection on he may have taken 1st. The cost of being a smart Owl is steep.
and the WINNER is....drum roll please!
1st Place goes to Zach Avant hailing from the thriving metropolis of Midland North Carolina out in southern Cabarrus County. Zach's mud pie eating skills are proudly sponsored by VeloGnar, home of all that is Velo & Gnarly.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Charlotte Winter Short Track Series Race #2

More rain, more pain and a completely nasty drive train...hahahahahahahahhahahahaha. As an avid blogger I find it much easier to forgo all that is attached with actually participating in a local race and spend that time documenting it for people to see. My stance is sort of like spectating with a twist. The twist is that through my eyes, physical body placement and thoughts I can convey to whoever has the time to look at what was happening with humans, mud and spirit. The entire 80 frame set can be seen by clicking here. I highly recommend watching the set as a slide show which is actuated by a button on top of the set, you will see it. Have them roll at 6 or 7 second interval, kick back with some Sigur Ros(Sugar Rose from Iceland) on the Pandora dot come and check out the transfer. Here are a few highlights from yesterday's local Mountain Mud Bike Event:

Zoo, Mein Volk needs a T-shirt that reads: SAVE YOUR BREATH, I KNOW I AM A BEAUTIFUL DOG!!
Bart in fine form.
Stephen Dyckes out having a ball in the wet woods!
Eric Hagerty on his new bike, more about this guy to follow on the morrow.
Stephen and his daughter Isabelle right before the start of her race. Way to go dad and daughter, pretty damn brilliant!!
The Single Speed category had a chance to play bike Ring around the Rosy led by Ross Dowswell right before their start.
Lap 1 SS-James Shelton in the lead with Zach in chase...
Lap 1 Pro Women-1 & 2
Ross looking good on lap 2.
Here comes Dicky on the Rocks.

Layla B. with text book line.
JS very fast on that SS.
With Zach right behind him.
Over the river and through the woods,
to the finish line we go...
Look at the smile on this guy's face, he just realized that his front brake pads are completely destroyed.
Front tire off the ground.

LB on her final lap. I like how the tree jumps out visually in this image.
Super Sport Women's winner, I could not find her name but she was riding nice wheels.
Zach still on chase.
Ross looking like a Mud Ewok.
157 riding through the turn with rear brake only.
Team Hoffen rider giving his all in the last turn on the course, oh wait...
What I saw when I looked down.
Post race.
Dicky says, "I need a Nomad Sponsor."
Philicia Marion loves her Nomad Portable shower system.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dying v. Dieing

I made this picture of Wicki this past June on a ride out in Wilson's Creek right before she and I spotted Big Foot on up stream. Seriously, I'm dying when it comes to finding mistakes get out after religiously posting my blog Mon-Fri early in the hours before my real day starts. The most interesting thing happened this Thursday after I posted the story about the girl almost getting hit by a speeding car right in front of me. I left the house on bike and wound up 46 minutes later delivering my second mail drop to the client. It is convenient after dropping that tub to take a quick stand up peek at my email and post an early commentary by my dedicated audience. On this am there were two comments needing positing and the second one came from a friend that I know in person and have ridden with a long time. When I read his comment he mentioned his own experience almost dieing which made me realize that buried in my story I had spelled it dying. Crap, how did I do that? How could I have not known that the correct spelling of the verb for die is dieing?

I made a quick reference check at the old and dieing showed up as good for being dead but I only scanned the page, I did not look at every detail. I immediately went to my blog, made the correction of a word that I had already spelled correctly and went on with my day. As soon as I hit the street I sent EW a 'thank you' for the early morning edit hint of which he had no idea what I was talking about. Do you see where this is going? My out of control mind has me fixing things that were not broken all the while assuming that the edit help was intended...

Yesterday I noticed that my former ex wife posted a follow up to Mr. Pidggy's status and she described him dying at the rescue. Anxious to have her correct what did not need correcting I belled her up on the west coast and left a panicked message about changing Mr. Pidggy's status from dying to dieing. There cannot be enough incorrect corrections in this world I thought to myself. Becks got the word and by this morning when I woke I found her response:

'billy, i love you, but you MUST go to dictionary dot com and find out that dieing has multiple spellings, one of which is not dieing, nor is it dyeing, but, in fact, my love, is dying.wicki'

Awesome! Thanks Wicki for reaffirming my status as a blundering idiot and a thanks to E for pointing me in that direction. Honestly, I have let a bunch of mistakes get by my rigorous editing process. I have also made many corrections but this is the first time that I have ever corrected something that I had put out correctly in the first place. Life is Good.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Contributing Work from Joe Stuckey

Turkey walking the sidewalk in towards the Jar on Central Ave. Phone photo credit: JStuckey. Joe Stuckey, a patient and tolerant Traffic Stop reader, avid cyclist and all around great guy sent me a note last night describing a brief meeting and passing that he had with a large gobbler on Central earlier in the week. Joe has been seeing me on my Stay Alive for the last half decade or so which is how we met a few years back. Being aware of my penchant for unique interludes with large ground birds with limited flying capacity on the Stay Alive corridor, Joe forwarded me the image and a brief description of what he saw.

Joe stated that he was driving into work the other morning on Central when he approached something walking towards town on the left hand sidewalk in front of a familiar church that I pass often just before the Eastway intersection. This spot is roughly three miles from the big buildings of the Uptoon arena. Then he picks up the story, "What do I see? The biggest "gobbler" I've ever seen! I pulled a u-turn and headed back towards home and shot this with my phone."

Thanks a bunch Joe for sending in the picture of a turkey using Charlotte's modern pedestrian infrastructure like it was cool. The city appears to be diversifying its pedestrian plan to be able to accommodate the influx of large walking birds giving Charlotte the unprecedented claim that it is the second most Turkey 'friendly' city in this fine nation in which we dwell.

note: Apparently after yesterday's 5-4 vote on campaign financing in the United States Supreme Court where nine individuals are deciding the future for over 320million free citizens Washingtoon DC sealed its fate as the only city more Turkey friendly than Charlotte.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Timing escapes Death

The poets around here don't write nothing at all, they just stand by and let it all be...the Boss

The J took this snap of me at a Friday evening wine taste gathering at the Cool & Cool this past fall.
The following text was written by me with a clear mind late last night. I truly hope that you can take something from my account of a work story that by attachment to observance defines the word not word 'synchro'(sing crow) that I often use as a descriptive even though in proper context it could be applied as a verb.

What I am about to describe to you really happened yesterday morning and as I sit here reflecting on my day I just realized that maybe she is thinking about what happened right now. Who is she, you ask? The dark headed girl in the purple sweater, black blazer over, longish gray wool skirt, tall boots, leather bag the color of a banana over her left shoulder and a white IPod connected to her ears by a white cord in her right hand. I was early getting back to the Uptoon from deep south as I approached the Jar proper after rolling over the John Belk not freeway. Flying two steel triangles inside of two revolutions on two not three dimensions the geometry combined with physics makes it easy to sit up hands free with legs pumping as pistons and ass in the saddle the only connection to the road on by the new Duke Energy contracted sky scraper shiny on the left. Still hands free at the Disco Chicken(image to be showcased soon) but back in 5 point contact cockpit with hand control as I rode through a green Martin Luther King crossing, formally known in the ole school as 2nd Street.

The next block up at 3rd had been red as I rolled up, stopped and held steady with a left foot front track stand with the bars turned slightly left facing one way two and three cross traffic racing right for their exodus down the hill away from the glitz. My Eritrean friend is setting up his New York style polished hot dog cart when I look over to the corner on the right across 3rd still front tire pointed left and holding steady. Dozens of folks are milling about as the sparse but lethally fast auto vipers race across Tryon right in front of me independently of each other without realizing their connection. I'm in front and I can see the entire intersection when I see the car first, it is an old worn out Carolina blue four door sedan made I'm pretty sure by Chrysler being driven by a very dark person fast and softy loud to the floor in the left lane of 3rd against the curb by Jimmy John's. He was the last car coming for Tryon, it was quiet, there were no others.

Focusing on that but pulling back here comes the girl into my visual cortex that stands out in the crowd as the only human in pursuit angle walking unknowingly and separated on orange for direct contact with the on coming Chrysler destined to make the light. When I put that together in a flash of a second that she was blinded by the driver and he was from her by the huge marble facade covering an ugly cement stanchion at the edge of the inside corner adrenalin instantly rushed through my body and mind. (note: All of us watched this piece of infrastructure go in, it is the most dangerous intersection on Tryon and in the Uptoon's top three.) Dignified marginalized girl separated by audio deprivation and theatrical marble plates glued to solid cement holding up the high rise is about to be killed by stepping out into 3rd in the immediate path of oncoming light blue worn out Chrysler maybe just above 50mph and accelerating on the now orange.

Can I take any more without reacting, obviously not. My cortex still functioning sent the instant message to my hippocampus that this was not a joke and that this is one of those one 1/1000ths of a second in the passing of time that without reaction will cause inevitable failure in the human spirit. I came off the bike and screamed at once. Without control I yelled as if my own life depended on it. I do believe it came out as an elongated, "Nooooo", followed by or combined with in the same deep breath as a guttural scream, "Looooooook".

She turned for me, the source of vibration over her IToons but had already stepped her left foot onto 3rd and the car was less than three meters and closing fast from behind the view of the marble. This beautiful girl in form and light saw my energy response caddy corner across the street completely cracked and did not take another step as the car whizzed by her less than a foot blowing an eddy of tail wind through her dark brown locks. Timing. She did not get hit as I had pictured on the movie screen in my mind not 2 seconds prior. The impact launching her across Tryon and out of her bloody broken body ripped clothing and eyes dying as I held her head watching her final transfer. When the car was over Tryon she continued the march towards her destiny one shade more pale and never looked for my eyes again.

However, everyone else seemed to be staring at me. My Eritrean friend was frozen in time holding an umbrella that he was trying to put in place just as this went down. He gave me the recognition of a transfer in his eye contact and body language. I jumped back on my bike across green and murmured to myself, "Dammit." Without consideration of anything less than timing I know right now that I saw something more than once today and it is all very real.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Mass?

Last night I watched the bright white slice of a crescent moon hang low in the dark western/northern sky parallel to the horizon. The pointy tips of the sun lit crescent were pointing up and almost perfectly cradling the rest of the visible moon. The slice of resplendent moon looked like a white passenger less canoe floating without motion in the dark night sky. The top half of the orb was shadowy but visible in an almost futuristic blueish gray hue. I realized at that moment that I was witnessing something that I had never seen before.
This is the dawning of the age of Toonquarious.

Scott Brown, Scott Brown, Scott Brown. Blah, blah, blah. The people have spoken, the votes have been tabulated and the toon decoy of the real politic continues forward today from its own beginning.
For the past week, only since around about when the earth shifted a few hundred miles from this fine nation in which we dwell I started hearing the concern of both the Bujahideen and the poor that Scott Brown, a republican was about to make their lives better or worse. Last night Scott Brown won the empty Senate seat vacated by the death of a Kennedy.
If you as a spiritual being actually consider the place in time you are standing, the result of yesterday's election in Massachusetts actually has no impact on your life. If you were counting on one way or the other, either way you should consider yourself let down by the democratic process. The outcome of Brown's victory really has no positive or negative directional pull on your life. You, me, all of us are watching from the side lines as if this were an 8 billion dollar a year NFL franchise grasp for more.
Take that step and admit that your passion centered around a senate vote in Massachusetts would have been better served 10 years ago by taking to the streets in protest of a stolen presidential election. That democratic loss has created more pain and suffering globally than your energy is worth lamenting or cheering Coakley's loss last night.

I am amazed once again how this country under a banner of nationalism and pride stemming from ego becomes so intertwined in the fabric of its own lie and decoys from the actual truth which they are standing right next to. Spirituality has nothing to do with what a governmental institution has for or takes away from you. I have a prediction that Scott Brown in the US Senate will help continue this collective culture in the same direction aided by the 'fears' left behind of the theory, 'What's in it for me'. Honestly though get off your celebratory horses or out of the emotional pit you are wallowing in and face the truth. None of it really has an affect on our existence on the planet, free yourself and let it go. As a nation that is the only chance we have but yet it still lurks in the darkness of our own core beings looking out from behind the curtains of what is ours.