Thursday, September 24, 2015

Free Streaming!

Well once again, I'm in no mood to write.  But unfortunately for you, I'm going to do it anyway.  I have nothing in particular I want to say.  I'll just blab on about whatever comes to mind.  Maybe that's the key to excellent writing.  Just kidding.  No, really.

So here's a short list of things I considered writing about tonight (if you are not on this list, it doesn't mean I don't love you as a topic, just that you are too important for me to screw over):

1) The story I alluded to last week that is actually my brother's.
2) Why highly intelligent technical people often have a hard time getting laid (Hint:  They are dicks).
3) Why they eventually land the hotties (Hint: they make lots of money and the hotties aren't getting any younger, ya know).
4) Some bike shit about me me me.
5) My lists always go to 5.
6) Well, usually.

The bike shit part would be about how I'm kind of excited to be going to Des Moines this weekend for the Oakley Nightcap cross races.  Jack and I will race Saturday night. We are not racing Sunday, but I think we'll stay overnight anyway and head back early in the morning.

Yeah - not much to talk about there.

Well hello there, memory.  Here's something I haven't thought about since it happened some 35 years ago. Just in time too.  Whew:

One time when I was about 14 or so, some old people came to visit us. I don't know who they were.  I think they may have somehow been related to us.  It seems to me that there were about 6 of them.  They were all deaf.  I think it might be rude to call people "deaf" now.  It's too bad.  I don't mean anything by it.  I just mean "you can't hear." It's not a judgment.  It's a word for the thing.

Maybe "deaf" isn't offensive.  I only think it might be because I hear people say "hearing impaired,"  which to me doesn't even describe deaf. It describes "mostly deaf."

Plus, the term (hearing impaired) has more than one word and isn't as precise as the word it supposedly replaces. But don't let a deaf person hear you say that.  I've made that mistake, boy.

"What did you say to me?  Look at me and say that!  C'mon.  Say it to my face," and so on.

So these 6 old deaf people came to our house.  While we all stood at the front room watching their arrival, we marveled that they could drive cars.  They used sign language to communicate, so we thought that the driver had to be an extra good "knee driver."

One thing I wondered was how the old "Who farted" thing worked in a carload of deaf people.

Begin digression: 
One time during that same year, this deaf girl started going to our school.  A classmate of mine, Harry Dinnel asked me, "Does she have to use that braille shit or something?"

I said, "No Harry.  That's for visually impaired people."

"Visua...?"  Harry questioned.

"Mostly blind," I explained.
End Digression.
So when the old deaf people came in, it was a combination of sign language, shouting and writing questions/answers down on a pad of paper.

One of the old women asked me (via note) what grade I was in.  I was in 8th grade, so I held up 8 fingers.  She kind of nodded and smiled.  Then she rose a hand and made a sign that looked like she was going to flick me on the forehead with her middle finger.

Back then, I was a huge boxing fan, so I did what boxers are always instructed to do.  "Protect yourself at all times."  This is an important rule.  Getting hit by a boxer's punch while you don't expect it is potentially lethal.  The instruction means you don't just drop your guard because the bell rings.

When I saw this old deaf woman threaten to thump me on the forehead, I let instinct take over.  I struck her on the chin with a mighty right cross that sent her reeling over the ottoman and onto the floor.  I then stood over her like Ali with Liston, daring her to get back up.

Before I knew it, everybody was on me, pulling me away and slapping at me.  My dad came into the room and started beating me.  I was just about to lose consciousness when a sweet old voice called out, "Leave that boy alone.  I can hear!"

Everyone turned their attention from my beating to the old woman recovering on the floor.  She was holding a tooth in her frail bloody old hand and smiling.  Tears of joy mingled with the issue of blood running from her mouth.  "I can hear!" she repeated all loud and everything.  "It's a miracle!"

There was lots of hugging and rejoicing.  You can probably guess what happened next.

The other 5 old people stood in a line while I was forced to punch them in the mouth as hard as possible.  Over and over again.  A lot of blood and teeth were lost.  My knuckles became raw and bloody.  Nobody else got healed, but I was made to punch them long into the night.

I guess it's the lesson so often taught to boys caught smoking.  Make them smoke until they never want it again.

Well I don't know if the smoking thing works, but I can tell you this:  I never want to hit an old deaf person again. So that's a step in the right direction.

P.S.  The first old lady had no intention of thumping me on the forehead.  She was merely trying to show me the ASL sign for "8."  You bend your middle finger and hold it with your thumb.  It kind of looks like your getting ready to thump a mother fucker on the forehead, so my reaction was completely understandable.  Plus, I healed her (because I rock), so ...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I'm not writing tonight

I'm just going to go sit over there and watch some tv before bed.  I'm tired.  I have a story to tell that I think is kind of funny. It is not my story.  It is my brother's.  I would tell it tonight but I think I'd rush it.  I'll write it before Monday.  Ok.  Goodnight.

Actually, I feel kind of guilty about this so I'll leave you with a knock knock joke.

Knock Knock

[ who's there]

A vampire.

A vampire wh... Aaah,  my throat! Even when I grab it with my hand to stop the gushing, the blood still seeps between my fingers because I'm dying.  Oh this is scary.  Sniff.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Life is like a box of fruit flies

Last weekend, I was looking for something I had written a few years back.  I didn't find it, but I did have a good time "smelling my own brand" as it were.

I was all, "Damn - that's some funny writing.  And 'dem comments from Brady is pretty funny."

It wasn't like the stuff from the last couple of years.  Much of that is forced and boring.

So I decided, I need to read that old stuff more to try to see what makes it better.  Maybe I can start doing something like that or remember some lessons from the past or some shit.

One thing I noticed is the truthful and heavy use of analogies or metaphors or some shit.

Also, saying "or some shit" more.

Also, "also"

Anywho's - the analogies (or metaphors/similes)  were fresh and pretty, like a young girl from the '50s with lots of makeup on.

As she bounced down the stairs all cheery and stuff, I watched; enchanted by the energetic movement of her big ol' titties under her fuzzy white sweater thing.  Her father stood next to me, pipe clenched between his teeth as we both watched her perky descent.  I was suddenly reminded of my stint with the boy scouts and how each meeting would begin with a flag raising ceremony.  I tried to concentrate on something other than Betty Lou's appeal.  Then I saw the embroidered poodle on her big poofy skirt.  I had to close my eyes and gulp hard as I reminisced about camping in the boy scouts and the tent pitching ceremony.

"What a beautiful corsage!" she was looking at my only protection from unbearable  humiliation.  The boxed flower I had brought for our date and was now using to obscure my shame1

... Or some shit.

So I have decided to try to get back to that kind of "fun writing."  Hopefully it will come.

I don't have anything to talk about this week, though.  In the old days, when I wasn't on a schedule, but still wrote regularly, I would post as inspiration struck.

Today, all I have is fruit flies.  

They're everywhere. Well - they're near the fruit.

I never saw fruit flies much until about 3 or 4 years ago. Now we seem to get a lot of them every late summer.

I've seen regular garden variety house flies my whole life.  It seems like I've always been able snag a house fly out of the air.  My timing is perfect.

But if I think about it, I remember spending hours as a kid out on the front porch, trying to get the timing just right.  Once I figured out that they tend to take off opposite the direction they're facing, I became one lean, mean, fly murdering contraption.  

Then came the finesse to catch and not kill the fly.  That was when the real summer fun began.  A strand of hair made a nice leash for my new pet housefly, "Spot"2

But fruit flies are different.  You can't bag a fruit fly with your silly house fly technique.  

I started out just trying to slap the flies resting on the counter or cupboard or something.  I would smack at housefly speed. And miss. Always.

I bet in the first 2 or 3 years, I didn't kill a single fruit fly with my bare hands.  

The natural conclusion was that I was too slow for fruit flies.  So I sped it up.  Nope.  No matter how fast I went after them - sure that they could not have escaped, I'd move my hand away to find nothing but counter top and swelling, red palm.

Sometime a few weeks ago, I'd decided to try something different.  My fastest slap was not enough, so I slowed it down.  Way down.  A speed slow enough that a house fly would mostly likely be sitting on the back of your hand by the time you hit the counter.

Miraculously, it worked!  My first fair kill!  I realized that the fruit fly must have been using my power against me.  The diminutive fly was just hitching a ride on the air disturbance from my massive swats.

House flies are more massive and so must rely on their own power to get themselves out of the way.  

Once I learned the trick, I began snatching them out of the air.  When they do land on the counter, I typically take them out with just my index finger.

I'm that good.

What I've learned about fruit flies has taught me more about life.

You see,  sometimes the harder you fight, the further you get from your ... oh for Fuck Sake!! It's the gol dern doorbell.  Hang on.

Sound of footfalls recedes.  Front door creaks open.  Cube can be heard saying something like, "Hello?  Is there anyone there?  Ew!!"

Ok, I'm back. Sorry. It was just a bunch of slithering leeches writhing on the porch for some reason.  It was so gross.  But it teaches me about life.  You see ...  
The End.

1) boner.

2) This is a fairly direct ripoff of a Woody Allen joke from his stand-up comedy days in the late '60s.  His parents were poor so they got him an ant for a pet and told him it was a dog.  He called it "spot"

And to prove that everything is now on the internet, I found this thing from Woody Allen that I haven't heard since I listened to it on vinyl in the early '80s:


Thursday, September 03, 2015

A prediction

I've covered this material somewhere in the past, so I'll skim over it here.

In the early 80's I bought a Trek racing bike.  My friend Boomer bought a Bianchi.  

We went on a few rides together until he went to Lincoln for college.  Before he went, I was faster than him.  Afterwords he could drop me at will.

Maybe it was because he smoked Menthols and I smoked just regular non-flavored Winstons.

I hear the Menthols open up your lungs.

Anyway - on one of those rides, he suggested I give his bike a spin.  It was way too small for me but the bike was clearly superior to mine.  Smoother, quieter, Italianer.  

So I decided my next bike would be a Bianchi.  It was the pearly white 1986 Campione D'Italia (CDI, in the bike shop parlance).

I rode that bike off and on for about 15 years.  

Then I went on RAGBRAI with it; saw all the fancy new bikes and got an ultra modern 2002 LeMond Zurich.

Then I decided I wanted to give racing a try. I wanted to join a club.  I didn't really ride that much and I didn't know anybody.  I had no idea where to begin.

So I looked around on the internet thing.  

Online, you could join one of 2 teams. This way, you didn't have to actually talk to anybody.  You could just sign up. Your choices were "Athletic Junction" or "High Gear"

The requirement to be on the High Gear team was to buy a High Gear Jersey.  I don't remember what it was to join Athletic Junction.  Interestingly, Munson and Randell were members of Athletic Junction (L.K.A. Ahamo).  Once I got to know them, I wondered if they joined online.

This was my favorite joke from back then (after they became 'Ahamo').  I had photoshop and made a wonderful image for the team. I don't have the image or photoshop anymore.  But I used paint to make this, so you'd get the idea:

It got a pretty good laugh when I sent it to Munson and Randell. I don't know if they laughed.  But I did.  Pretty hard.

But I've gone off course.  

So I was on High Gear and I raced. Sort of.  I never really trained too much.  

Then I kind of stopped racing but remained on High Gear and it became Trek.  I maintained a membership.  It cost money to join by then.  You had to buy a coupon book or something.  In case you wanted 10% off of Bontrager and Trek stuff.

I suppose it would have been different if I was in shape and raced and things.  But no.

When I Started riding again (November 2012) I didn't want to be affiliated with a club too much.

I always took my bikes to Olympia for service.  It was close and they're good guys.  They always gave me great service and deals.

It was cool.

Andrew once said he'd like to get Husker Road Club going again.  I thought that sounded good, but I'm no recruiter/promoter.  I feel like I barely have time to ride/work/live.

But I didn't care so much.  I joined the Husker Road Club. I was on a team with roughly one member.

Now at the end of my second year as a rider for the Husker Road Club, things are changing.

The Gin Soaked Hoohas from downtown told me they wish to join the team.

I thought that was cool.  There's a certain nostalgia for me with the HRC.

My history with Olympia goes back nearly 30 years.

But no.  The truth is, these guys are bringing their team to Olympia and I'm joining them.

Which is actually better.

I am pretty excited about all they are doing.  I know nothing about this stuff and it's great to see.  I think it will be great for the shop.  I think it will motivate me to race.  I now have a bunch of teammates.  Guys I enjoy riding with.  Also, David Randleman.  

When I joined HRC, one problem was the jerseys.  Same old boring design as ever.

The new team (Omaha Velo) has already designed and ordered new kits.  They're pretty sweet.

Omaha Velo will be putting on a cross race the first weekend of October.  They plan to put on 4 races throughout the year.

Again.  I'm excited to be a part of it.  I will commit to help out as much as possible.  I will train with more purpose because there are other people involved.  People I enjoy being around.  And Randleman.

But ...

I have a concern.  This will be the team's fourth marriage.

Maybe it will be the last.  I hope so, but there seems to be a personality to the team.  It's fidgety.  Maybe the laid back nature of the old shop in North Omaha is the perfect match.  Maybe not.

But here's my prediction.  I'd make it a promise, but it's too early to tell:

No matter how much I enjoy being a part of this (and I think it will be  a lot), if they move on to greener streets some day, I'll just stay at Olympia as long as it's there.

In other words, FTGSVG.

... and sceeeeeeeeeeene!

Disclosure:  I get a kick out of Randleman.  I hate him way less than a lot of people do. So that's something.  Dude dishes it out, but he can take it.  I respect that.