Sunday, September 16, 2018

Danglin' Is As Danglin' Does

Listen: I am trying to write like I did in the old days, before Tim Joe Comstock, before the Trailer Park Cyclist, before all the fame and the millions of dollars that were showered upon me...

Wait: The millions of dollars...

Dangit! I knew I left those Bitcoins somewhere...maybe behind the refrigerator...

Great. Now I have to start over.

Here's what I'm thinking. Gravel bikes. I only own three bicycles and (apparently) zero bitcoins, but I know a cool bicycle when I see one and now I am (kinda) drooling over this Salsa Journeyman:

(non-existent photo)

In the old days I was pretty poetical and got all manner of accolades for writing moody and soulful stuff about dead relatives and awesome bicycle rides and how cool I am...was...dangit! Is that a dangling participle? Why do we have to worry about participles, dangling or otherwise? In fact, I am reasonably certain that almost NOBODY uses the word “participle” in daily speech. I sure don't.

(Incomplete sentence/contraction/possible dangling participle.)

So, here's whats groovy: the same guy who wrote the definitive book (along with some guy named Strunk) that tells us the Elements of Style was also the guy who wrote Charlotte's Web.

But let's face it. The old days are gone. Bicycles have disc brakes now. Fat tires are the norm. Old Tim Joe can't even come close to remembering how he wrote way back when he had an element of style. But all the same, here we are. (there's another one. It's like flies in here.)

Here's another thing: Once I started to get some readership I got all excited and looked up stuff on the web about how to get and keep a following. Mostly it involved pictures and short entries that could be read at work. You know, ways to screw your employer out of office time. It seems that 1500 word posts fit in perfectly between a restroom break and a stop by the break room. It's sad, really.

The thing is, when I write honestly (as hard as it is) it takes me awhile to get it all figured out.

I have to wander around. I have to type and type until things coalesce, I have to think about today and I have to think about yesterday and I have to think about what it is I am thinking about. That is what I did back when I only wrote for myself, before other people saw what I was up to and what was happening in my world. Each day is so full of surprise and dangling that I cannot see how anyone can comprehend it all without taking notes.

So the truth is, it ain't easy.  All of you know what I mean.  Moments of distressed clarity, a glimpse of what should be, what should have been...but what of that?  Here we are.  Here are we.

Speaking of notes, I have my Pandora station set on Joni Mitchell. So while I type this we are getting Joni and James and Carly and Carol and Stephen and Neil.

So OK. There ya go. I am still Old Tim Joe, I still live in a trailer park. This is pretty much what ya get from here on out.  Maybe something about gravel bikes, if I remember.

Yer friend, Danglin' Tim
Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Mermaid Cafe
Sept 15 2018


  1. TJ! (Or DT as the case may be...)
    So good to see a missive from you, it makes me want to write something, too. Especially having weathered the storm that wasn't really, Florence.

    Hope you're well and planning more dangling for your hungry readers, sir.

    1500 words you say.....I should maybe count mine to be sure I'm in the ballpark.

    I don't worry about dangling as I think it's a part of life. More so, the older I get.

    Your pal,
    Brian in VA

  2. Good Ol' Brian. Yeah, today on the radio they were talking about how some weatherman was faking Florence wind-strength on a tv broadcast...leaning into the wind and yelling and so on while meanwhile people in the background were just walking by like it was Saturday in the park. (Chicago, Windy City...I can't help myself) Being manic depressive at 10 am (sipping rum and beer at work) and in manic mode I was giggling like a nut about how they could have tied a fishing line to his hat and snatched it off at a strategic moment and then maybe a little girl could have walked up and handed it back to him...

    The bullshit runs high these days. By dumb luck I was listening to Stephan Stills on the radio at the same time I saw the announcement that the Trumpster wants a panic button wired to EVERYONE's phone so he can wake us up at 3 am and scare the shit out of us.

    While I read it Cap Springfield was singing "it starts when you're always afraid..."

    Crazy, ain't it?

    Again, while driving to work last week on 9-11 at six am I heard that Orange Haired Bozo spewing about America being a laughing stock to the world and boy, this 63 year old military veteran liberal, on his way to work because he can't afford to retire in this jackass economy...I ain't no laughing stock you sonofabitch I'm out here busting my ass to pay the rent in a fucking trailer park.

    OK, maybe that IS laughable. Plus I like it here.

    Thanks for hangin' in there, bro. It counts.

  3. welcome back to the keyboard TPC. i have but a few humble comments..the journey man looks awesome. i picked up a used Fargo, put two inch slicks on it and even my wife has copped on and calls it the "swiss army bike." there is something about that steel that takes the sting outta life.

    as far as keeping a following goes...anything longer than 140 characters is TLDR these days so i'd say if it feels, good do it. there are no rules for blogging, only opinions. And you know what they say about those...

  4. Hey Barry. I am just thinking about the necessity of writing. I don't seem to have a choice. After long dry spells the urge comes over me and even if I don't have anything to say, I say it anyway. Like now. But as always, thanks for the support.

    BTW, where did you find the used Fargo? Craigslist? Ebay?...

    1. i was at a wedding in canmore alberta and my wife went into a drug store to get lozenges. i walked down the street to the corner, bumped into a local shop with a sidewalk sale on, haggled and bought the bike by the time she had her cough drops. right place right time! not sure that would be my wife's take on that but she perseveres...

  5. TPC so good to see you post! my advice is test ride the bike first and if it fits and you get back from the test ride with a big stupid grin on your face then its a winner. A gravel grinder does sound fun and plenty of old 10 speeds lend themselves to that kind of build especially the "sport tourer" variety -that means doing it yourself but you would save alot of rum money and it'd keep ya off the streets for a while, thats why I do it ;-)

    1. I got one word for ya, Ryan: Disc brakes. Plus hidden cables. Plus those crazy shifters that are stuck to the brakes. Plus my determination to never again ride on tires less than 2 inches wide. Also, braze-ons on the top tube to help scratch what itches ya when the bib shorts get a little itchy.

      Okay maybe more than one word. And who are we kidding? I will never buy a $1000 dollar bikecycle. In order to test ride anything other than the bicycle aisle at Walmart I would have to get in my van and go to Orlando, which I only do for money or under duress.

      But I do in fact have Amazon Prime. They have this new "Only pay if it fits" deal for clothing. If you watch the ads on TV, or Amazon Prime (where I spend a lot of time) they always make a thing in the ad where they DROP the box of clothes in a very satisfying way.

      Like maybe a drone would.

      So why not? Why couldn't AMZPRM drop a drone-delivered bicycle into my lot here at the Whispering Pines for a test ride? If it doesn't fit I don't pay. I just hook it back up to the drone, give a smart salute and wait for my refund.

      Wow. Since you live in Seattle you must know Bill Gates, Roadie. Would you ask him for me to look in to this? (Dangit. Stupid participles) I know Bill doesn't own AMZPRM but he probably knows the guy who does. (There I go again. Dangling is hard to kick once ya get started)

      Look, I know you Satellites stick together. Why not give a brother a hand-up?

      But don't tell them I live in a trailer park. Drones and trailer parks REALLY don't mix.

      Thanks for your support,

  6. Holy Catsickles, TJ is back! (boy am I late to the show AGAIN!) Glad to hear you are still alive and kickin TJ! As to the gravel bike thing, I have to admit that a few months back I got a work bonus, so I bought my FIRST NEW BIKE since I was a kid! Yes, a gravel bike! (it's a Trek Checkpoint). I had realized that a TON of my winter/spring mt bike riding is on dirt roads, and a good gravel bike would eat those miles up like nobody's biz! The things I like most about my new bike are that along w/ being able to run up to 2" wide tires (Trek claims only 45mm, but I put a 700cx45 on and there was a LOT of clearance left), it also has full road-touring rack mounting holes! I got a set of 28mm slicks for the road, the 35's it came with for pavement/dirt roads, and soon I'll add the 2.0's. Change the tires, change the mission! Sure, it's a bit heavier than my old aloominium Cdale (19lbs w/ the 35's)...but WAAAAAAAY more comfy than any road bike I've been on! So comfy that I decommissioned the ol' Cdale about a week after the first ride, realizing I won't be riding that again. Sure, it's no Secretariat, I think it's more of a Hildago. But that describes me also...I've come to realize that I'll NEVER be fast, but I can ride all day. This bike and my mt bike are the only 2 bikes I'll ever need to cover pretty much EVERYTHING I'm willing to ride. I say get yourself one as soon as you can. Oh...another thing they are really great at is turning crappy pavement into a fun ride. Not long after I got it I did a double Figueroa (a local HC mountin in Santa Ynez). I did the 40mi loop from both directions giving me both climbs and both matter which way you go the descent is HORRID! For the first time EVER I was "woo-HOO'ing" all the way down, rather than worrying about how many fillings I'd need to get replaced. This bike LAUGHS at shitty pavement and dirt roads, and I find myself laughing with it all of a sudden! Anyway...glad you are back, I'm hoping you can throw some words at the screen a bit more often. No matter where you go, there you are.

    1. Matthew are you telling me that your Trek is sub-twenty? You're no munchkin you must be riding at least a 58...even with 50's it should stay below 22 lbs...that's pretty impressive.

      Drop bars and fat tires. And dirt old heaven. All those roads from back in the day around here are paved now. ALL of them. But the combination of a low bottom bracket and a relaxed geometry works on chip seal pretty danged good, too. And gnarly shoulders.

      My old LeTour is wearing 40's right now and an all new drive train and listen...I ain't never goin' back. Smooth is really cool. I like it.



  7. I only really notice that my Checkpoint ISN'T a true (ie, speedy) road bike when I ride with a group of relatively quick harsh as hell old Cdale Caad-9 was only 15lbs and quite quick, tho you felt every grain of sand. The Trek is smooth, stable and OH SO COMFY, even w/ the slic-28's...I just do more work to keep up than the rest of the group. I look at it as a bonus not a bad thing. Also it's geared lower than a road's got an 11x34 11-speed cassette...most roadies these days ride 11-28' I've got 2 more gears to work with for when I'm on dirt or loaded w/ gear. Smart design IMO! I am SO jazzed to try some bikepacking and road-touring on it...just need some more gear.

  8. I have to agree with the taking of notes. Things happen to me that even while they are happening or just after I think to myself "this is something I should remember". It is not the big events, those are remembered because they usually carry some kind of consequence. No, the little, but cool things while I pedal my bike to and fro to work. So many examples but they fade into the general blur of life balled together.