Monday, January 26, 2009

It's always slushy in Philadelphia

Alone in my chilly house, I often ponder not questions for the world, but four word questions. Today my question, "Where has January gone?", actually has the same answer as any would-be planetary pondering: Huh?

Because I'm wearing four shirts and two pairs of socks, I can admittedly tell you this month has been a wash. Literally, as at this rate I've had to amplify my laundry-doing ten fold to keep up with my ill-planned winter attire. Behaving like I'd imagine a mutant marsupial of academic pursuits (or scholarly wallaby) would, this semester has left me pocketing posts and studying in lieu of maintaining my likely huge and gigantic Internet fan-dom. So to this corpulent fan-dom I say, "Sowwee" for the lack of winter wonderland-y blog posts.

(Take this not as an apology, as I'm never wrong, but as an adorable and personable method of fault evasion coupled with a fragile pun on corpulent and sow:)

As a further act of pseudo-contrition, I will now proceed to take you on a virtual walk down my street to show you the highlights so far of this January.

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This is from a week ago, when it snowed and then melted rapidly:

Then the other day, where the same thing happened:

And finally this is from tonight, where the snow + rain slush has yet to completely recede:

(This concludes our walk, as my feet are becoming virtually damp.)

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So you see all I've been up to amounts to....not very much. All the bike riding I haven't been doing, the leaving the house I rarely attempt, and the early nights to bed rarely make for points of deep contemplation and philosophical critique (the mainstays of this blog). I've fallen, albeit not completely against my will, into a seasonal lull. It should melt away soon enough.

Happy riding.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Its official

The world has often tried stifling my attempts at greatness by typically requiring asinine amounts of paperwork to legitimize said efforts. The world apparently knew how lazy I am, so these attempts usually worked. Because I have become buddies with a little thing called the internet (that along with my two dogs raises my friend count to a boast-worthy three), I no longer have to go anywhere, write, turn in, or really do much of anything to sign up for or officiate various endeavors. And good thing, because my John Hancock would be limp by now with the amount of productive signing up I've been doing lately.

Doughnuts and dollars aside, I've made the horrible and possibly life-threatening decision to race the Tour of the Battenkill. While the name may suggest, this is not a baby-seal clubbing contest, but instead something possibly more inhumane: a 62 mile bicycle race with major portions being on dirt roads. The race is isn't until mid-April, but my terror and anxiety have prompted me to begin serious training now. My regiment is so serious in fact that it is completely embarrassing, and thus worth a separate posting altogether. This is the first legitimate race that I'm planning to ride in, and I have learned that apparently I need some kind of license to participate; I'm guessing in the same way that gun owners, medical doctors or fashion police need licenses to practice. Basically I have to pay money to have my name on a rectangle of polymerized tree pulp, of which there are two options: a one day or an annual license. Since I'm still mulling over the math, I've decided to further practice non-committal avoidance by not purchasing one yet.

What I have purchased lately are as follows: Wool, thread, hot dogs, and a full table for February 1st. The punks at R5 finally made re-arrangements for the winter Flea Market, and unlike my riding speed I was quick to act. Dan and I, along with a mountain of hand-made goodies, will be present and representing our business empire, Camp Cupboard. The hot dogs are not for the sale, I was just hungry now.

To further solidify our attempts at computer commerce, I also signed up for a domain on the world wide web. Now the Camp has moved from the free, yet cumbersome-to-say-out loud to the more official and dignified (the capital Cs command respect). Currently my website building skills fall somewhere between my ability to scuba dive and my knowledge of post-colonial naval ship reproduction, which is to say they do not exist. Fortunately for me and perhaps unfortunately for military reenactors, free online CSS tutorials abound, so I have no doubt that within the next one to six months I will become effortlessly adequate at bettering the site.

And finally, what can legitimize a business endeavor more than business cards? Sure- one can attempt to build a brand, design goods, grab market share, and sell quality items for profit, but all of that is worthless without a card. This is because the business world is a lot like elementary school, with all the cutting and pasting and glue eating, and business cards are like Valentine's Day cards for grown-ups. Giving out cards gives hope. A special, tingly hope.

Hope that perhaps the exchange isn't just an obligatory ritual or an attempt at networking, but that maybe- just maybe- you really do think of them y'know, like that*.

Happy Riding.

For future reference, I think of everyone like that.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Spooky time.

A while back I attempted to win a competition using only my natural given talent, spunk, and not a small amount of moxie. I lost, leaving me to ponder: what is moxie, and why did I feel that I needed to use it? So maybe I went out on a limb, but at least I learned from it- next time I won't attempt to stand on one leg the whole time. That was silly.
For once I'm not referencing any sort of scrappy, unsanctioned bicycle race, treacherous trail ride, or any sort of athletic masochism. I'm referring to that t-shirt competition I entered a while ago. The winning entry was cautious and conservative, including both bicycle imagery and the magazine's title. At least the shirt was printed on a dainty and dreary purple, the newest color of fast (white was the old one).

But I'm not sore about losing, as I have had ample practice failing at just about everything up until now. However I did receive a flattering comparison to the sorta-famous and totally weird-tastic frame builders, Spooky Bikes. As they are only sorta-famous, and as I tend to live in a weedy, candlelit hole (not unlike the Wissahickon's prayer hole), at first I didn't understand the association. Then I visited their website, where immediately it became obvious:

The same love for cycling, cartoon gore, and pastels coupled with a shared disdain for unicorns? Be still my heart, Spooky Bikes. As of yet I must swoon from afar, as the prohibitive price tag prevents me from owning one, no less the six to seven that I want.
As a dedicated follower of this blog you might wonder why I would bother to mention this revelation, as it really is quite petty and took place nearly a month ago. It's because while vacationing in Gainesville, I visited the best bike shop in Florida, and was lent a mountain bike to take up to San Felasco. It happened to be a purple (re:fast) rainbow-sparkled Spooky Darkside, and after riding it my gooey bicycle-company crush set like a gelatinous dessert parfait.

Sadly, the inability to afford a 75$ jersey makes purchasing an 850$ frame a foggy and distant fantasy, complete with headless galloping unicorns (it is a fantasy, after all ). Fortunately I read my 2009 astrological guide in the free paper, and I vaguely remember a mentioning of '09 being the year of the glittery object.

Happy riding.