Sunday, February 22, 2009

eighties, ramps, and flatland

My years in Falls Church as a freestyler and bmx guy were fun. Aside from a broken arm from going over the backside of an eight ft. quarter pipe at Randy fugates ( the ramp was painted in the black and white checkered pattern of original vans)no not vans as in a vehicle: shoes. My first quality bmx bike was a Skyway (chrome) with acs graphite hoops (red) with GT hubs. Could not afford three piece profile cranks but something decent is on it. The trick with me in the blue jacket is not that special. I got better though and sorta gained skill. The halfpipe was more intense so that was the direction I moved towards and away from the trails and jumps. More sustained hang time on the pipe. Int the picture where I was catching air I was wearing my favorite shorts: Birdwells. ( cool nylon Swim trunks at the time ) Note confidence as far as no top where some might have been decked out in armpads and full sleeve. Lame..the sign on the top reads troopers beware.. Rusty on the lookout. ( a harmless dog that was owned by the ramp owner my good friend Rob H.; ( wanna say Hartford ) I cant remember his last name now will appear as the cloud drifts away ) The one that prohibits my historic recall. ( troopers was an insult to guys that sucked on the ramp and occupied too much of our privacy and ramp time )
Anyway ,..we had a trick team that would perform shows at various events like fairs, parades, and any event they would allow us to set up up the mobile quarter pipe ( towed on rear of station wagon ) as well as the trick ramp which is not curved just a 35 degree short ramp ..we would perform not for money but to meet the ladies. Fame also.
The freestyle bike I moved to beyond the Skyway was a Hutch Trick Star which was a lavender frame ( cool then I swear: eighties color ) red skyway 2 mags and white GT trick bars. Yes the cables had the potts modification so bars could rotate multiple times without winding around headtube. I met Mr. Hutch at a trick show sponsored by Rockville Bmx...the big shop everyone in the know went to. Those guys were paid and they rocked.
High school daze and the bike gathered dust eventually. Eventually took too much space in closet and lost to history. A shame they are pretty prized these days.
The first year at FCHS was not stellar. I passed one class barely with a D and that was Home Economics ( again Chics and possible snacks ) Shop did not appeal to me a fag..I will live. Soo yeah one D and five fantastic F s. Nice. Off to summer school. Fuck that sucked. Oakton was to be my summer school for four more glamorous years. Price of hangin out. Serious dazed and confused or just absent.
I showed up around third period, the day of photos for the year book, and went to the auditorium to get it over with. The scene for yearbook photos in the auditorium is funny. Everyone is all dressed up like they are going to court; and I am totally clueless in raggedy clothes. The photographer could not let me be shot like I was. They had a cardboard sorta facade which looks like a tie and white shirt and they lent me a black coat. That is why I was smiling so authentically because I was probably baked and just laughing.
I could not believe I was voted best hair. I think no guys are seriously gonna ponder who they think should get voted best hair so they just put down what makes them laugh or nothing at all and maybe the ladies loved my curly locks. Ozzy, Metallica, Panterra, Dio, get the idea. I liked it loud. Broader interests now. Moving forward in time.
The photo of the Burritto bunch is shot outside Jays Jersey house where across the street there was a golf course. Jay was a young up and coming golf pro in high school who lost interest thank god. We were there for a race in Point Pleasant, NJ and it was a fast pro race. That town is very nice with a decent shore and huge victorians. Jersey nightlife is soo different then here with the Italians sporting the big gold necklaces and open hairy chest (on the gents mostly) ...and the big hair of the women and glossy lipstick bright red. This was not the eighties but the nineties. Anyway...Jason Stevenson is the tall guy who was recently injured in a bike/car interface in the district so I thought I would dig up a shot with him in it.
Also Shane Greg and Sandra and another photo of Zache "DOO DOO" Browne and Sandras jeep. ( Sandra and I were married for eight months thankfully it was not death do us part )

Saturday, February 21, 2009

demo and construction

I have a neighborhood client for whom I am providing a landscape change on the front of the house for now. I started and created a new mulch bed or two. I also proposed a much larger change that included trees, stone walls, and shrubs on which they agreed to. The next day they said their new idea was to focus on the back first and to start with the demolition of the current shed. the pre-existing shed was vine covered and failing as far as being watertight. the new one after some deliberating would be the same rather small 8' by 6' but with a gable roof as opposed to the slightly sloped flat roof the old one had. Also the materials would be vertical cedar siding and faux slate shingles. These materials are about as high end as possible. The entry also was to be a wooden multi paned door which could not be bought with a pre constructed frame thus adding to the labor hours and complexity. The entry design also included another smaller gable over the door for looks and more weather protection.the new storage spot would include a window which could be opened and of the double paned vacuum sealed variety.
I went at the old shed and demolished it in a day. The proposed time for the construction was put at a week. A roofer friend of mine said I was off right there and that it would probably be longer. I was hopefull and eager to have some work in February. After a week I was not done. The seventh day came and the door frame was giving me trouble.( in the photo the right side is not finished and therefore not symmetrical.. which if I get final photos up one can see its even ) I got it hung but the time on it alone was twice what i thought it would be. Eighth day and still just felt paper on the roof. The wood trim and soffits were also some detail work that put me behind schedule. Ninth day and the shingles were halfway done and projected time looking to be way off. Also the projected material costs were a lot higher then anticipated. At this point I was driven to get done and I did on day no. ten but the learning experience as far as using expensive wood and fancy tiles was invaluable. The door framing I also now will be more wary of. The client came in with around $5600 total costs and thats after I dropped a good piece of the extended labor costs in acknowledgement of my mistaken projections.
The client and I are moving forward with further plans as far as actual landscaping, but both parties will be more cautious as far as cost assesments. The shed is the best on the block though and I am proud of it. Considering it has been a while since the last construction job. I said I wanted to talk about the job some so there.
No racing going on right now but the ten oclock today was fast and I was satisfied with that performance, also. Immediate Mortgage was a presence today with maybe three or four members and similar amount of Team HD riders. good fun. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines day ten oclock

The last time I was out on a Saturday to ride I was a little too ambitious and I had already put in too many miles that week..So I went to do the seven oclock for the first time and also the ten oclock. It was a good workout..and it was also a humbling experience. I was done after Esworthy and after turning onto River rd. I went up halfway with the group and that was it for me. I drifted off and rode in. But of course there was yet another rider who was either dropped or simply suffered a mechanical who came through me and i jumped on...just to realize that it was only a matter of time till he was going to force me to fade off again. That is always fun. It does replicate racing in that you can sometimes claw back into a group or individual just to get dropped again. Well ...I have never really known what or how to describe racing and or training on days like these..which is pretty often. To say it is fun is to say it is fun to go to the dentists in my humble opinion. Somehow though there is a sense of satisfaction especially afterwards. Also maybe if fun can be synonymous with exhilerating and the thrill or endorphine rush of a sprint or a near catastrophe..( sometimes )well it is fun.
Cupids holiday was thankfully somewhat less difficult but still a good training ride. Only Jose of the Harley bunch was there and the ever present james Wagner in the yellow...also a guy I dont know the name of who sports a pro shop sponsorship jersey. ( he is the guy who came through after I was dropped a couple weeks earlier and said see ya ) There was a Jorje..( its George in english I think ) from the Artemis crew. Most of the regulars like the dude who has the belgian wool jersey( red white and blue ) A strong non racer. The usual appearance of Simon Walker and Steve Barrie after the halfway point ( onto River rd ) Justin Omalley was also along for the duration. Now that I have bored whoever is reading I will say it is nice to get into the park with the front and it is also ominous because I aware of all the players that were not present. This season seems as though it will be very fast and D20 is as good as any district to hone the criterium skills. Actually better then most . So I guess I should be gratefull for the everpresent available hammers to keep me in shape. THX Chris ( I will be working Sunday and sorta unhappy to miss the trade zone but I also like the idea of letting the frenzied first couple get sorted out and come in with some of that energy spent )

Thursday, February 12, 2009

British times

The history of phrases and gestures is hazy and often a mystery. The often said phrase son of a gun is an interesting one because it seems soo harmless and innocent compared to todays descriptive and maybe vulgar ones today. Actually the phrase comes about from a criminal being sentenced to labor on a ship of war to carry out his sentence ...and when that craft was in shore it would not allow the prisoners to go to harbor, but instead the vessel would bring certain parties to bring some harmony to the human cargo. The parties in question were actually whores and the criminals and the hired painted ladies would go below deck to entertain themselves, the most private locations were between the gun stalls or cannons and there sex would take place. Thus the coinage or product came about. Son of a gun ; A whore and a criminals byproduct or procreation. Nice
When you hear the phrase; on the wagon: you are maybe only thinking he is gonna stop drinking , this being the volition of choice. Actually the phrase comes from the British sentence of death whereas the guilty party is given his last choice of final wish and often the preference was a last drink. Therefore the wagon would stop at the bar and the patron would make his request as to his choice libation and after its consumption the tender might ask whats next. The accused and convicted would have no choice but to reply that he was on the wagon. ( which meant he was off to the gallows pole)
Nice....Soo moving on...this applies to recent fun...the gesture of raising the middle finger is actually dated back to Roman times and in those days the finger was one of phallic reference. The person that you applied it to was the person that you were metaphisically screwing an regardless of sex it was the supreme insult. The Romans were actually very colorfull in their ability to articulate.
In more modern times like 1415 there was an English king ( Edward the 5th ? )who wanted France and occupation and he sent 10000 soldiers to do some damage. This story has many details. To shorten ..the English were better prepared with better munitions and better soldiers. These guys were happy to fight and knew how to.. Also skilled in the use of the English longbow. The French rallied as the English moved across their terrain and threatened their land. They gathered a much larger force but less ,by far, skilled. The battle at last was fronted and faced at Abercort ? The outnumbered English the night before were threatened by the French with promises of bow fingers being removed and their ultimate ability to inflinct damage on the French forever removeved across the battle line. The French feared the English longbow made of resilient Yew wood that had amazing distance and the archers could loose six per minute. The longbow is plucked with two bowfingers ; the middle and top and the wood is from an English Yew. The phrase fuck you therefore comes from the amazing victory of the English on the battlefield where maybe 8000 French died, thus ending many noble lines, vs. the loss of about 500 English. Pluck Yew was adapted to simpler Anglicized term fuck you as a cocky reference to the survivors defiance to insurmountable odds, yet coming out on top with all capabilities in order. Roger that ? A cool photo I will find for this post soon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

the original Trade Zone plus a posse of messengers

The Trade Zone has moved we all have. The course used to , at one point, have a u-turn in it. This shot shows the break, in 94', moving up the hill with yours truly taking a pull and the main field approaching the turnaround. No they are not going the wrong way. The u-turn course is rarely seen these days. Norfolk used to have one, it was mercifull in that it went around a a wide median thus not so tight and one could carry speed thru easier. Trade Zone is approaching so I thought this was an appropriate photo. Osborne ( is there a u in super d's name ?) is sporting the unattached look and another big threat in that move was Chris Henry in the red n white behind Dave. I remember one classic comment on his part to Zach in which he called us small fry..made Doo Doo angry.

The next shot is of the old bunch at the fastest track in the world..for nascar.( location: Bristol, Tenn. ) But it was a trip to race on with the steep banks. The Burrito kit can still be seen on the rare occassion donned by the Australian Shane downtown doing deliveries. That guy can keep his stuff for years. That race was part of a stage race that started with a road race and later in the day a TT up a mountain. In the first stage only a couple miles into the race this guy in the field overlapped a wheel in front of him. Chucklehead went careening across the middle of the bunch the pileup put me on my ass. I got up sorta checked the bike and went to catch up. 9 I.E. I put the chain back on ) The bike went forward half a stroke and the chain fell off again which meant I went over the bars and onto the asphalt again. Frick and frack I was done with the fun. A bent chain ring was the issue. The titanium frame also cracked at the seat post weld.
I was starting to really not like this race and the name of the event was The Rainbow Classic or something sorta questionable. Between the road race and the TT I was applying hose clamps and hammering the ring. ( this drew attention points ) I did manage to get a third in the TT probably due to fresh legs..I will take it though. But the bike was running pretty bad to say the least. In the photo one can see the hose clamp around the seat clamp area. Never buy a bike with no name from a sketchy source out of eastern Europe...built out of refuse aerospace titanium from Russia or somewhere. I was young and naive..but just trying to have fun at a discount.

The motley crue of messengers are from Toronto and England and then theres me the yankee with the bike held aloft. The Pyrenees were awesome. There are castle ruins, little villages nestled in remote mountainous places and great vino not to mention the lamb. All very affordable. Good times. I crushed the freak in the sign by dropping him going up to the French border. He got my first place though by bridging up to me in the last lap in a 100 lap race and disappointed I was. This was in a lil race in Toronto a year or two earlier... on a wooden figure eight track. ( it was somehow satisfying to see him sit down and refuse to go further up the lon climb :) Definitely another story, but he got 1500 Canadian dollars and I came away in second with no cash but I did win a Kona mtn. bike. ( Fishbone played and I managed to get some beer ) The bike was large schwag to take back to the US which I managed to sell later.