Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My goodness. Mr. Woo is no more. A week ago today Greg and I took him to be put down. He was just so old. Even though I could see it coming, and even through the years joking with the cat about the coming end time, and Mr. Woo's desire to see the cat, if not physically done it, at least crushed emotionally through some trauma.

It was so hard. This is the first I've been able to deal with it. Still too close.

will I come back here to let loose the thought beast? It's been ages it seems. Life is quite different now.

speaking of different, today is day 3 of submission to big Pharma. I need to keep this journal if for no other reason than to chronicle this part of my life.

Day 3. Gonna give it a month and see how it goes. This past Thursday was dark. Friday darker. That made me go to the docs and set up an appointment (which I kept) and got hold of a prescription of Prozac. Well, the chemical equivalent.

Do I really see a break in the sadness at this point, or is it the decision to take action that brings satisfaction? Not sure.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hidden again

Tomorrow I'll ride the xtracycle in the homecoming parade. Gonna load it up with stuff and top it with a sign that says 'You don't need a car to haul all your stuff'. Should be a fun do.

The Kid and I ate dinner with Greg tonight along with Jim S. and Paul from New York, the Catskill Mountains. Jim wouldn't be quiet.

So far this year ... 7700 miles on the bicycles, 1500 miles on the car.

Since the last post here way back in May, I've ridden across Iowa (RAGBRAI) on the xtracycle, and decided to become a recumbent rider with the purchase of a used Bacchetta Corsa. Way cool bicycle.

Just in case you are wondering, that was back in the sweltering September heat, not the chilly cool that is Kentucky now.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Lookit what I got!

(here's a hint, it ain't the car)

That's the only picture I have right now, the guy building it up had to test it out by doing laundry and taking some stuff to a consignment store. He also gave his girlfriend a ride over to my house on the back of it while delivering it.

I've already been grocery shopping with it, and it's everything the xtracycle web site claims it to be.

Very satisfied.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Jim Chaney - Old Guy

This past weekend our bike club had a treat - free pre and post ride massages. I had a chest cold and was feeling kinda week, but went for a 92 mile ride, the last 20 miles of which was a blistering 21.5 mph pace. I like to go fast, but sitting here with the formerly pesky cold now a full blown take-my-fuckin-energy-away funk, perhaps I should have taken it easy.

Nah. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

After the post ride massage - itself an incredibly pleasurable experience - I went to get an ice cream cone.

Chaney's Dairy Barn had a truck at the park where the ride ended, and I like Chaney's ice cream, so I got a cone. There was an old gentleman there with a twinkle in his eye, and I started a conversation with him. Turns out he was Jim Chaney, the patriarch of the Chaney Dairy Barn. What started out as a howdy do, turned into a long conversation about the both of us. He was a good storyteller and a good listener too. We talked for maybe forty minutes, and had I not needed to be somewhere else I would have talked for another hour.

In the course of the conversation he mentioned that the cost of cattle feed had jumped from 160 dollars a ton to 213 dollars a ton, seemingly overnight. The reason? Ethanol. Farmers are planting corn to sell to ethanol companies instead of planting other crops for human consumption. Fuel being given precident over food. Scary.

I don't remember where I read it, but I recall a statement like 'we're going to use the last 6 inches of good topsoil for automobile fuel'.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Spring! Yay for spring.

Reading other blogs I discovered some guy named Snakebite has gained extra weight he has vowed to lose, and so has Woodog. About 15 pounds to be exact. OUCH.

Inactivity and bad food choices.

I've met a guy. Greg is a guy I've known for a long time, but I never considered him romantically because he was the partner of a very good friend of mine, Steve. I set Greg and Steve up (well, introduced them) way back in 1989.

Goodness that seems like such a long time ago.

Greg and Steve. What a great couple of guys. It still seems like they are a couple. They invited me to the Unitarian Church. It was about 6 years until I went and found a home. Greg used to play the piano for the church, and then I played for the church - now we both play for the church.

Greg and Steve sold me my house. I sat across the closing table from them and nervously signed my name, sealing what has become the smartest financial decision I ever made.

Even though our church has never had a minister per se, Steve was our church's minister. He loved the work of the church and loved the people in it. He was either brilliant or a great bullshit artist, I can't figure out which. Actually I don't care. His stories were great whether they were true or not.

Steve died on March 14, 2006 of a massive heart attack at 53 years old. He was a beautiful spirit trapped in a shitty body. Even now, a tad over a year later, I want to hear his laughter, full and healthy and from the gut, reverberate through the church. It's hard, even now, to know his voice is forever still. I weep as I write this. I miss him so much.

I was in South Carolina when I got the news via email. I had planned a tough bicycle ride for that day. From my bike journal on that day

Comments: Sad day. My very VERY good friend Steve Scott died yesterday of a heart attack. I was going to attack the road today, but the sad news was chilling. He was 53. I rode for solace today, celebrating life in the face of this loss. I abandoned most of the planned route and just went looking at the world waking up. Every emerging sign of life, every beautiful blooming thing on the route made me think of him. Where I saw flowers, he saw origins of species, where they came from, how they were bred, when they bloom and why. Where I heard frogs in the swamp, he knew the reproductive cycles, the distinct species that had that particular call, their favorite food (which he knew all about too). Another voice forever stilled. I will miss him deeply.

Weather Conditions: a gift of a day. mid 60's. 15mph wind from the west. Wonderful strong rays from the sun to warm the bones and to remind the living to get on with the business of life.

Greg asked if I would play and sing for Steve's funeral, and of course I did.

This past New Year's Eve Greg invited me and some church friends to go to another couple's house (Tim and Elizabeth - too cool for words) for a drink or two. I had planned on being at home - it's what a reclusive, lonely guy does best. At the last minute I called him up and asked for a ride there.

After a nice dinner and some small talk, Greg was getting sleepy, Danny (another friend) was drunk, so we headed back home early. Greg dropped Danny off at his house and took me to my house. A goodnight kiss lasted much longer than it should have. Greg and I welcomed in the NewYear with sweet release.

Yesterday was the first full day of spring. Here it was a beautiful day, warm and breezy and inviting all who are interested in life to open up. Greg and I spent the day riding bicycles in nearby Mammoth Cave National Park. He wanted to ride bicycles because he knew it was something I liked to do. I chose that venue because I knew it was something he could do. Later it was physical communion followed by languid calm and tender, soft words. There's a large picture in Greg's room of our church. I has Steve's face photoshopped in the clouds, smiling over the scene below. It was a gift to Greg by a fellow church member. Greg told me that Steve would approve of me. It was not wierd, or an insult, or uncomfortable to hear that. I got it. In our nakedness there I felt unbounded and comfortable and cared for and wanted.

Sometimes the line between sacred and profane is blurred in soft pastel.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

It's Real

Had quite a few interesting conversations (rather, interactions) today, all inspired by the bicycle. Riding on a frigid day makes folks question you a bit, or pity you, or whatever, but these things give openings in conversation - a way to preach, if you will.

1st one was at a hardware store #2. I was looking for a repacement thermostat for the furnace. I punched my thermostat this morning. I bought it three years ago, a touch screen programmable thermostat, and it has gone all screwy in it's old age. I woke up to a 50 degree house and it wouldn't let me raise the temperature. So I punched it, HARD. An extensive background in Karate-Do and Shaolin Arts and this is the result. A busted thermostat. So I had to get a new one. At the checkout line in the hardware store #2 (#1 didn't have a suitable replacement) the clerk, a lady my age, said 'oh tell me you didn't have to ride a bike in this weather'. Goody! The opening had presented itself.

'I don't have to ride, but I believe global warming is real, so I kinda feel I should.'

Here's the good part. Another clerk, a younger guy, said, "I believe it's real too. So do you stay warm when it's this cold out?" It was 20 degrees, 15mph winds steady from the west. I had ridden 9 miles at that point and was toasty warm. It turns out he had been thinking about riding his bike to work, but had never ridden in the cold. I assured him it could be done, that indeed it was being done all over the world and even in this town. I felt warmed by that exchange.

So on to church, where my study group's service project was to take place. Last Sunday there had been a gathering of folks who brainstormed about the future the church was to take, and one of the categories was the vision for the physical space we have. Of the 30 or so note cards posted up, about 10 of them were variations of the theme of parking. More parking, expanded parking, larger parking lot, etc.

I made the comment that expanding our parking lot to solve our transportation needs was as effective as buying larger pants to control our weight problem. Jim, from a town 30 miles away jumped on this statement and told me 'some of us aren't going to ride their bicycles from Glasgow to get here'. I responded that if the folks who lived within 3 miles of the church would ride thier bicycles, there would be no parking problem. Nancy, who lives within a mile of the church, jumped in and said 'there's no bike racks for people to store their bikes safely..." I countered with 'do you think that'll do the trick? that we put in bike racks and folks will start riding their bicycles? I believe that when you start seeing bikes tethered to trees, the handrail, the nature park sign (where I lock my bike)... then you'll see bike racks being built. I think we should ask people who live within 3 miles of the church to consider riding their bicycles or at least carpooling. Laying pavement is operating from an unsustainable paradigm.'

Cynthia, a lady in her late 50's, a physics teacher at a local high school said, 'you know, I could ride to church, but I want to wait for warmer weather. I haven't had a bicycle for several years now. I didn't drive a car until i got out of graduate school. I'd have to find a bike' then... 'Do you think you could help me find a bike?'

Not only will I help her find a bike, but i offered, and she accepted, to show up at her house and ride with her until she felt comfortable enough to ride by herself.

Last encounter, tonight at the mexican restaurant the waiter, Lolli, asked me if I was able to drive or if I had a car... yes to both, I said, but I drive very little. Are you scared of driving, she asked? No, not at all, but i believe global warming is real.

Well, it's good exercise, she said.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Town Nut

This past Sunday going to church I rode my ‘cruiser’ bike, the one with the fenders. There was no way I was going to drive anywhere on the last day of the year. Heavy rain was in the forecast, but when I left home it was just drizzling. I packed a poncho and took my chances that it would be somewhat clear when I had to return home.

When I got to church the bicyclist who had ridden last week also rode her bike. If I were straight I would SO ask that woman out! Alas…. At any rate I would’ve lost serious face had I driven the car.

It was pouring after church and it wasn’t showing any signs of letting up. Plus, the usual after church crew wanted to go eat out and I wanted to join them. The offers for rides came fast and furious, and really it wouldn’t have hurt to take anybody up on their kindness, but solutions come to me best when I'm in the thick of things. So I said I would meet up with them at the restaurant which was 5 miles the other direction from my house, donned my poncho and took off.

I figured out how to stay comfortable on a cool/cold, windy, rainy day with a 16 mile ride. My legs got a bit wet at first, but I put the edge of the poncho over the handlebars and that solved that problem. The poncho acted like a sail and the 10 mph wind slowed me down considerably, but I wasn’t getting soaked. In fact, I was staying pretty dry. HOT DAMN! Passing cars saw me grinning the great big smile in the cold wind and rain.

I’m officially my town’s ‘nut on a bike’.