Saturday, September 21, 2013

Consider the Bee

Message In A Bottle
OK. I'm typing in the dark by the light of the screen reflected on the computer keys. I'm typing in the dark because I moved my work table back to the back of the trailer before leaving town for another bout of McDonald's remodeling and yet tonight I am sitting in the front of the trailer where I get a smidgen of intermittent pirate wi-fi. I am typing in my underwear and so I don't want to turn on any lights because I don't want to put my pants on.

So there is that to consider. Today I sat a bike (the Goose) for the first time since Labor Day and I am currently a bit insane as a result. Tomorrow that will change when I do my country loop McLarge (34 miles) and then I am going to come home and get drunk as hell. Then (shudder) Monday I will wake up, take a cold shower, drink a gallon of McCoffee and then: I'm going to buy a truck.

How Far I Have Fallen
There, I said it. I don't like it and I was hoping somehow to get around it but there is no escaping the fact that I will buy a motor vehicle on Monday and that may be the End of the Fun. But I gotta do it; today it cost me a hundred bucks to get from Orlando to home, a fifty mile ride. Forty dollars gas for my girlfriend's SUV and breakfast for me and the girlfriend and I gave her some money for her trouble and then beer (and that is running out fast) and so on...

How long, O Lord?

As long as it takes, apparently. I looked at a decent little Nissan pickup on the way in from the Road and following my policy of Riding the Least Bike, I will try to purchase the least truck and that fifteen year old little piece of tin looks pretty least to me. I'm sighing inside but it is all part of the big picture.

Whatever the hell that means.

Viva Las Vegas
So I can't say much about cycling except that it is Interbike Week again and I ain't there (again) even though I keep expecting to be invited out there to Vegas for the big show; it has been thirty years since the last time and I'm pretty sure they forgot all that stuff that happened and there is the statute of limitations and so on...

But whatever. I look forward to the pictures and there are some pretty exciting things coming from the usual sources like Surly and Velo Orange and once again it will be about bigger tires and common sense, rare developments for the cycling world and long overdue.

For What It's Worth
Me? Good Lord. I am involved in so much disaster and conflict and sweat and blood and tears all in the name of Money and McDonald's that I really don't know where to begin. I mean, there is blood on the keyboards, not from some maniacal pursuit of my art (for what it's worth) but instead because our boss tried to save a couple bucks and bought really cheap plywood screws and so when you use one of these new impact drivers to put them in and the screw slips you jam the pointy screwdriver tip into your thumb or forefinger. It hurts really bad the first time but after the hundredth time you just giggle and cry at the same time and thank the heavens that you are not a brain surgeon or violinist in your spare time because your fingers are swollen and mushy and holding a cup of coffee in the morning is a monumental challenge.


No Sugar Tonight
I'm not tanked up enough right now to wax poetic and I really don't have anything worth saying but I miss you guys and wanted to say hello and goodbye and see ya soon and so on...it is all about people, I think, the people. I am part of a crew that I don't lead and it is a new thing, this following. But that is gradually turning around as it always does; I learned many years ago that sometimes the best way to lead is by being the best fucking follower they ever saw and by pushing firmly from behind. Not that I have much desire to be the boss; but look, the least I can do is buy the right kind of screws and also there is unnecessary pain going round the crew; these guys need help of a different kind, a lot of unnecessary pain out there and that is one of the duties of a good leader: to make it as easy as possible for the crew to get the job done. It is easy and all it takes is a little organization and open ears and a little heart. None of those things are happening right now but I'm hacking away at it.

One of the hacks is to buy a truck so I am no longer a hitchhiker.

Consider the Bee
I was building a house once with a little crew (three men strong) and a carpenter bee was buzzing around the rafters we were setting and I watched as the morning progressed how quickly that little bee bored a hole in the fresh-cut pine of the roof framing; it didn't take long and I was coming down from the roof and was surprised and delighted to see how this tiny insect had created a home in the smallest part of the home we were building. It had chewed its way into a 2x8 rafter and I got a drink of cold water from the big jug and I thought about that bee. I have always remembered that bee and how good pure cold water tastes on a hot day when you are building.

I'm doing it again now and I am drinking the cold water from the big jug and remembering the bee. I am typing in the dark without my pants and drinking the last of the cold beer, it is late and tomorrow I will ride and I will consider the bee.

tj

Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Apiary

September 21, 2013

24 comments:

  1. drinking the last cold beverage with no pants on...been there and will be again..I ain't judging bro. Glad your back hope the fingers heal.

    RR

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    1. I wear those 'boxer briefs' that are only a bit more pants-like than the venerable 'tighty-whiteys', Ryan. My usual home pants are running shorts which are, after all, just glorified boxers without the fly. All things considered, I would wear some nice airy boxers but they never worked for me; I think they are better suited to suit pants or slacks. Those real boxers always seemed to be in conflict with my blue jeans, sometimes resulting in certain twisty discomforts in an area I prefer to be comfortable.

      If those lottery tickets I bought at the Winn Dixie last night come through I am going to buy a crate of those MUSA wool underpants that Grant sells and have them embroidered with the TPC logo and then ship them out to all my male readers.

      I don't know what I will send the girls...

      There is a lot to be said about underwear.

      tj

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  2. Good to hear from you. Enjoy the ride and be like the bee. Cold water is pretty fantastic almost as fantastic as that first sip of cold beer while sitting in your underwear.
    T

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  3. I always think of you when I write about the jobs, Tohner. This one just flipped; now instead of a soul-cracking McDonald's remodel I just got orders to report to an Outback: air-conditioning and chop saws and little boards and little nails. Trim is the thing, as far as I am concerned.

    tj

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  4. So good to see you, TJ! Stay well and BTW, Nissan makes a great pickup truck. I've had 2 as has my old man. He swear by 'em.

    Best,
    Brian in VA

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    1. That's all I need to hear, Brian. Tomorrow is the day. I had to report back to work early Monday, but tomorrow...

      tj

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  5. I needed cheap wheels years ago when I lived in Georgia. I bought a Japanese toy truck. No A/C. Not even a radio. I needed it for a weekly trip a hundred miles north and back from my apartment. Those summer commutes were hot and sweaty, and I kept myself awake by singing every song I knew. But you know, of all the cars I've owned, I really loved that stupid little clunker. The dumb thing was so comical it was special...Hope you get to like that truck of yours, too.

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    1. Marsha back in the early eighties I explored all of Southern California in a borrowed little truck, my roommate's Datsun pickup. Malibu, Laguna Beach, San Pedro, Big Bear...the little truck took me everywhere and I secretly look forward to having another little scooter. A guilty pleasure but also a necessary addition. Thanks for reminding me...

      tj

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  6. TJ

    Glad to hear from you. Thought maybe the rat race had eaten you up.

    Sorry to hear that you have to struggle to fit in rides now (just like the rest of us).

    Keep on keepin' on.

    Steve Z

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    1. Glad you can feel my pain, Swampboy. Looks like my second childhood has been put on hold, damn the luck. I'll find some way to make it look like I did it on purpose, though, you can count on that.

      tj

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  7. Glad to hear that you're still around! Hope the truck is big enough to carry the bicycle, or at least to fit it with a rack. :)

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    1. Absolutely, Sara, there will be bicycle specific mounts, racks even a trailer if need be. A small trailer is, in fact, part of the plan. Thanks!

      tj

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  8. Awesome post. My father was and still is a framer to this day. Worked his way up but fell on hard times in '07ish. It's great to read this lingo again and hear of your cycling adventures and journey through life. - long time reader, Robert

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    1. Thanks, Robert! Yeah, '07 is when the hard times started for me, and then didn't seem to stop. I'm making less than I did twenty years ago but somehow enjoying my "re-training". Not enjoying it that much, though. In fact, I am only pretending to enjoy it. Take the old man out for a beer. He's earned it.

      tj

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  9. TJ!
    I'm just glad to see you are back. Always enjoy reading what you're writing. Cold water, cold beer, bicycles, and favorite old vehicles. I'm not sure there's much else worth talking about. Keep it up, I can tell you are making the most out of this little side adventure we call "work".

    Jason from Colorado

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    1. Hey, Jason. Those are indeed some popular topics. I fear that one day the cold water may be the hardest to come by... Thanks for dropping by. It's always good to here from the Original Crew.

      tj

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  10. Hey TJ...here's hoping your new (used) little truck turns out to be a winner (ie: NOT nickel and diming you at every turn like SOME used vehicles are prone to do). I had a 79 Datsun truck I bought new....longbed...short-cab. I hauled my Suzuki dirt bike from Montana to Calif in that thing, along with me and my big bro (I was was moving to Cal for my Navy job, and he was moving to So Cal for HIS first job out of college)...so we had BOTH of our stuff along w/ my dirt bike). THAT was quite a crowd in that little truck I can assure you. Years later after I was done w/ it my little bro took it over, and just FINALLY got rid of it a few years ago...lasted a LONG time (a little TOO long imo...it was kind of pathetic in the final few years)...in my 2 years at Pt Mugu I scoured all of So Cal in that little gutless wonder ...including ALL the canyons between hwy 1 and the 101, and pretty much everywhere from Pasadena to Ojai...nice memories for sure!

    Hope you get back on 2 wheels soon and often!

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    1. Thanks Matt. I'm really not doing any riding. It's a big problem, but somehow unavoidable. I really would like revisiting all those areas you mention, and money would be a requirement. But a little truck sounds like fun. It's been a long time since I just went for Sunday drive with the windows down and the radio blasting.



      tj

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  11. It has always been my thought and experience that true leadership is neither appointed or voted in, just a natural occurrence over time.
    This has been a bike season that is ending with a bit of a whimper for myself along with your bike time troubles. With the flood that we had it has been a work challenge everyday. Our business is tied to helping people solve the problems a flood brings to their homes and my staff has done an outstanding job getting after it to figure it out for people. But, bike time has suffered.
    It is a mental work-out when your personal vision of how and where you live gets hammered by mother nature and really upsets the apple cart. You start getting the little thoughts creeping in your head of,"maybe I don't live in a great town and part of the country and should I think of a re-location??" I have always felt sorry for people that go through a natural disaster but have always had the confident swagger of,,,,"That will never happen to me" Crazy thoughts that roll around through your head while you deal with the "no flush zone"
    I am hoping for some mountain bike time this weekend on Ogre. I am going to explore a bit some of the cut off areas of town where the flood washed out bridges to some back roads. I had a cool trip planned this weekend with one of my boys to ride up and over Rollins pass but with US 34 in ruins it is a six hour truck trip for him to get here around the long way. Next summer.
    It is a day-to-day thing around here....but really, isn't it always day-to-day??
    Glad to hear you are back on two wheels my friend, if only briefly.
    Jim

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  12. BTW, when you hit the big underwear windfall.....my size is a 36 waist or size large.

    Also it took me awhile to find that VO camargue frame. Finally in the VO site blog. Now that is a good looking frame and looks to be right up your fatter tire bike desires. It looks like they built the two up for their interbike display. The orange one with 26" wheels. Was the green one built with 29"?? Must have internal rear hub on that one. My bike geek factor has to go up to keep up with all this cool stuff. I am with you....I can waste a lot of time looking at bikes on my computer.
    If I win the underwear lottery.....I'll have to build a garage for new cool bike storage.

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  13. TJ,

    We miss you! Put down that hammer and let us know how you're doing!

    And take a bike ride for God's sake!!!

    Steve Z

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  14. c'mon man don't give up the ship! your posts are fucking fantastic! I may lack the eloquence to describe it any other way but the truth is the shit you rant about goes double for the rest of us just trying to get buy on a wing and a ride (and beer of course!). And your missing your mark if I may say so. I mean really TJ the way you express the daily grind, you should be syndicated in all 50 states! Pure inspiration!

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  15. And, I'll add to the missing your witty repartee.

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  16. Me, too. (That is missing the witty repartee.)

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