Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why we suck

I figured it out, thanks to all this bike racing silliness. The reason why our society here in the US is seen as having no culture, or American's being soft. All depending on who you are speaking with as to which comment applies.

Maybe just very probably it's that we see something done as it's perhaps supposed to be done and we say "Awesome job!".
Mediocrity = Awesome?
Adequate = Superior?

Are you farging kidding me?

Are you going to stand there and tell me that a task done as it is expected to be done is above average, it's great, or it's awesome? If that's the case what were we originally aiming for? Marginally better than failure?

I guess if you have low expectations you will not often be disappointed. But what type of existence is that? What's the point? How does this fill the question of "why are we here". If you are living for mediocrity, you are basically just taking up space, air, and natural resource.
On top of it, this post stems from a thread on a bike racing forum. Yeah, bike racing! A sport where athletes drop thousands of dollars on coaches, equipment, and many other things to help them be a better athlete.

So let me get this straight. You spend $5,000 on a super light carbon bike, then another $1,500 on a fast, light, and super trick set of wheels, $1,200 a year on coaching, and lastly huge amounts of training time all so you can race better at an event that barely meets the minimum expectation of getting the race started on time and results posted correctly and in a timely manner? Does nothing to make you at least feel good about your efforts that day? I mean, you win a hard race and what you get after is to go up to a card table under a 10 x 10 tent and pick up a $0.98 tee shirt and $20.00.
And then you criticize those that say, hey, this could be done a lot better, and with very little effort the quality could be improved substantially?

I don't get this attitude, it is a duality that does not make sense. These two behaviors are diametrically opposed.

This is why we suck. We accept this mediocre, barely adequate performance as "awesome".

How the hell do you improve on "awesome"?

Shouldn't the description of "awesome" be reserved for only the very best, cream of the crop, practically unachievable accomplishments?

There is a great line in the cartoon movie "The Incredibles". "I'll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be Super! And when everyone's Super... no one will be."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tranzom Version 2

More laughs.
This was the second version of the band Tranzom (as in to Trance Them, I know...corny)
This was the band though, we had are shit down tight and played some good gigs around the Bay. The first photo was taken at the practice studio were we met 3 nights a week, The rehearsal Spot.
AKA an old meat plant with a bunch of cold rooms converted to practice studios. It was cheap, easy to get to and heck if it's good enough for Metallica, it's good enough for us posers.
It was kind of cool running in to those boys while walking the hallways, but you had to play it cool though, even if Kirk Hammett was on the top of the Guitar Gods list. When you walk the hallways among giants, pretend you are a giant. Just give a nod and a friendly sup man and you will get the same respect in return.

The second photo is to show off my custom Les Paul, when I snagged it from my step dad it had a humbucker, a straticastor pick up, and a telecaster pick up. I upgraded the humbucker to an EMG Select (rippin back in the day), a double coil near the neck and left the Fender Strat pick up in the center. Yeah man, I have a Gibson that can sound like a fender, or even mix it up.
Because I like them whammy bar I tossed on a Kahler with a lock nut. It's for making sounds like dragging metal across cement. Long dives or pulling hard on the note to bring it up.

On with the giggles:

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A night at the Mabuhay

This photo is from one of the band's first Mabuhay Gardens gigs. What a friggen dive that place was, but when you are 17 and playing in a local metal band, it's pretty damn cool... in the moment.
In the background on bass is Matt Camacho who later went on to play in Forbidden. Matt was originally one of the guitarist when I tried out for the band but switched with the bass player who matched my style a little better. Mostly because he didn't suck. Matt was a much better bass player than a guitarist, which turned out to the benefit of his career.

Told you it would be a good laugh.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Gonna do some scanning tonight

Xbunny's school photo has inspired me to dig out some old photos of my own.
You blog trollers are in for a good laugh.

Stay tuned.

Kind of funny

Go to Google and type in the word "Failure" and see what comes up as the first search result.

Do it quick before Google changes it

Monday, August 14, 2006

Back to Iowa this weekend

This weekend we took a break from racing and went up to see Petite Lutin and her hubbie's (AKA Anonymous) new Mt. Home paradise, and to get some good climbing miles in.

We were going to check out the Challenge course but decided to ride from the house instead. So we headed to Iowa by bike, Iowa Hill that is.

After a short little warm up riding into Colfax we were greeted with drop into a beautiful canyon (we should have brought a camera), crossed a river and went straight up the other side of the canyon wall. A 2.5 mile climb gaining 1500 - 1800' at 12% to even as much as 18% grades. Reported average is 15% and I found a website listing the climb. It says unless you have the legs and lungs of Lemond and Armstrong you will have to stop at least once.
Well, Joe and I are no Lemond or Armstrong, but we didn't have to stop, or use a triple. Heck, Joe cleaned it in a 25, painfully, but he did it. I cheated and slapped a 13 x 28 cogset on the bike. It still hurt.

After the climb we did some more climbing until our decent into Forest Hill and then on to Auburn for our climb along the I-80 frontage road back to Grass Valley.
75 miles and it had to be at least 5000' of climbing. All at a nice moderate pace, if you can climb and 18% grade at a moderate pace.

In looking for picture for this post I ran across this little tid bit of an event:
Iowa Hill TT


It's Back!

It's rebuilt, reformed, and ready to kick up some dust.
The Single Speed Chameleon will be hittin the trails today.

Single Speed, one gear, one speed....


Thursday, August 10, 2006

NCNCA Presidential Nomination

I hereby officially nominate Olaf Vanderhoot to run for NCNCA President for the term year of 2007.

Does anyone second this nomination?

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Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily the views of the blogger, his advertisers, or sponsors. They are also not necessarily sane or intelligible.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Feed the poor and homeless.

Lothar's post about fruit trees reminded me of an old idea I had to solve the problem of feeding the homeless.

Instead of planting non-fruit bearing trees in the business parks and along roadways, plant fruit trees and hand the homeless baskets to pick it.
Now they have a job and something to eat.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Fall down go boom!

Yes I crashed... Damn it! So this is a preemptive post so that I don't have to tell the story 800 times.

It was a stupid crash on a section of road that I have been through 500 times.
The 500' of straight road after the last turn on Diablo just before the houses.

I don't remember why I looked away from the road, but when I looked up I was inches from the edge of pavement. That section of road has no shoulder and drops into a 2 to 2.5' deep drainage ditch running along the road.
In that split second I realized I was going down and went into damage control. If my rear tire slips out I am going to hit the ground hard and the same if my front drops into the ditch. So I did my best MTB "look for an exit and hope for the best" move. I hung my butt off the back grabbed as much brake as I could with out locking up and dropped both wheels into the ditch. I was hoping for a little luck and though maybe I could ride this out and come to a stop with minor scratches.
It was a good plan, I just happen to be going a little to fast and after about 15 feet of travel my front wheel washed out to the left tossing me into the side of the ditch on my arm and a small portion of my face.
I was lucky, just a couple of small raspberries on my chin, left cheek, and lip, a quarter size chunk out of my arm and some scratches on my hands (should have been wearing my usual mechanics gloves). Nothing broken since I was already at ground level when I lost the front wheel. It doesn't look pretty, but I am not really hurt that bad "tiz but a flesh wound, I've ad worse".

I cleaned up and even proceeded with my chores around the house. Later that afternoon we went out on the tandem with the Oliveri clan. People must have thought my wife insane to be on the back with the likes of me driving.

I have been taking a new product from NOW Nutrition called D-Flame for the pain and swelling. It seems to work pretty well and without the negative aspects of drug anti-inflamatories.

Friday, August 04, 2006

First ride, ready to roll.

We survived our first ride, and had a lot of fun.

Contentment or stagnation?

Interesting dilemma:
On one hand my current employment offers a fair foundation and a certain level of freedom to incorporate my cycling. It is also familiar which provides a certain level of comfort.

On the other, raises have been less than exciting and this will be the first year in many that the company has made a profit. They spoke of profit sharing in the beginning of the year and offered insignificant raises with the profit in lieu of the desired increase. Now they developed a formula by which those who achieve little stand to gain the most while those who have exceeded goals are left with much to be desired. Elephant riding a tricycle scenario.

The commute is short, 7 miles, but can't work remotely anymore.

Offers from other company include expansion into other areas of the industry, but also a bit of a commute. Increase in pay would match or exceed this years salary and bonus, but there is the impedance upon lifestyle that I have become comfortable with.
I certainly don't like commuting, for reason that are personal, spiritual, and environmental (which is sort of spiritual). I also don't like the possibility of "missing the boat" by not taking an opportunity.

The real question that boggles me is that there are two forms of wisdom at work here:
1. Contentment and acceptance of present conditions is taught by many philosophies. Contentment is certainly a wonderful feeling.

On the other hand
2. Stagnation, lack of movement, and complacency can lead to demise in the long run. Kind of like riding a stock all the way down because it was supposed to be a good company. That's not very bright either.

This is a tough one to figure out. At what point does contentment and acceptance become stagnation and complacency? How does one know if they are just bailing out or if they are making a move for the better? They say the grass is not always greener, indicating that sometimes it is.

Lot's to ponder.