Friday, November 28, 2003

Back from Thanksgiving dinner at Mom & Dad's. More on that maybe but first I thought I'd mention two recent things I read.

The first, several weeks ago was about the mythology developed by homeless kids in Miami. It was several years old, and possibly was a hoax but the story was compelling and disturbing. You can read it here.

The other was in Dirt Rag magazine, and was the winner of their reader-submitted story contest. It was about racism, alcoholism, death, friendship, courage and the Portal Trail on Poison Spider Mesa. I can't get it out of my head. (Nothing online that I saw, you'll have to buy the issue.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

The photos from the Which Brew Halloween Party are here.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

The Joe man is back...
-- Big Black, "Bazooka Joe"

Sunday night, and I actually have enough energy left over to write here...

Last weekend I went camping, on a backpacking trip with my friend Joe. He's a natural athlete and avid outdoorsman, but last December he blew out his knee so we haven't done much outdoor stuff -- and no riding at all -- since then. Anyway, he'd been bugging me to do a backpacking trip for a few years, even convincing me to get a really good backpack (which has been gathering dust ever since), and his knee has rehabilitated enough to give it some exercise, so we decided to finally get in a hiking trip. We went to a place in the Poconos called the Thunder Swamp Trail System, which can be wet, but is relatively flat and non-technical, a fairly easy trail as these things go...

It was the hardest three days of my life. The trails were rocky in places -- it is Pennsylvania -- but not all that difficult; it was just that I was totally out of my element, and not used to walking with a pack (weight: 40 pounds) on my back. Joe also took care of the food, and he's a militant "organic food only" vegan and thinks I eat too much anyway -- we were starving ourselves by my standards!! Not enough calories as far as I was concerned, which might have contributed to the fatigue, but luckily he's a good cook and the stuff we did eat was tasty. All told, we hiked 15 miles or so: 3 on friday afternoon, and about six each on Saturday and Sunday. Considering that he did the entire 29 mile trail with his old girlfriend, on a 3-day weekend a few years back, it was a a woefully disappointing performance -- and we (I) couldn't blame his knee, since he managed to be ahead and constantly waiting for me... I was totally whooped. I basically blew off all exercise for the rest of the week, and pretty much blew off everything Sunday and Monday nights except sleep. My legs, especially the little stabilizer muscles, were killing me through Wednesday. Great weather though, flurrys on Friday, sunny and not too chilly for the weekend.

Thursday was a trip to Linden, NJ to a job site. Nothing special, they just wanted a few more pairs of eyeballs going over a unit problem area. Some questionable piping (small lines, like 1" pipe or less), problems with supports, everything was under control without my two cents but it was a day out of the office, though Linden ain't exactly the Bahamas.

Friday was a late-night towpath ride, then a quick trip to Which Brew to see Endless Mountain, that bluegrass band.

Saturday: back to hanging out with Joe in the woods, this time on bikes. Beth & Kevin McGatha have an annual "Chili Ride," which starts with a ride at Allamuchy and ends at their house with a party, bonfire and chili cook-off. Great time, rode with Lauren Detoro who I haven't seen in a while (jeez! when did she start smoking?), and a bunch of other people I don't really know except through Beth. Kevin didn't ride -- old motocross injuries finally caught up with him, and he's also recovering from knee surgery, so he and Joe talked knee braces and ACL tissue replacement... We left about 7:00 and raced back to Easton to see the George Bush "Liar Liar Pants on Fire" effigy ride in and park at Center Square. About eighty self-conscious "protesters," and one pro-Bush heckler (give him credit, he wasn't shy) for them to argue with. (In the paper this morning, it was a "white hot debate.") I owed Joe dinner for doing the food last week, so it was my treat at Touch of Thai, then another early bedtime for me.

Today was yet another Joe day: myself, Joe, and his ex-girlfriend, Cosmia -- and he just broke up with that non-biking girl he's been dating since the knee, hmmmm... We went up to Jim Thorpe, rode the singletrack out in the strip mines for a few hours (hard, technical riding, lots of fun), and checked out the scene in town before taking off. That might be it for Indian Summer.

Anyway, those were my past two weekends. One other piece of "news:" greedy Don now has an Amazon wish list. More on this as Christmas approaches.