Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pants On The Ground

I was watching American Idol with Mitchell a while back and was mildly amused when General Larry Platt came out to perform his now-mega-hit ditty, "Pants On The Ground." Good for a few reps of the hook, and our own jumbled mixing of verse and chorus, then it was off to bath and bed for Mitch.
Next thing you know, the video is everywhere! The DSM Register ran an article about the man and his stand up past with MLK Jr. et al, and a performance by Randy Jackson and Jimmy Fallon/Roots had cemented the ditty's place in my head! I couldn't get enough of it! Well, The tipping point to insanity was near at hand, and then the levee broke when I caught the clip of Fallon performing the song AS NEIL YOUNG! Pick your favorite conduit to this awesome clip and enjoy! I admit fully that I don't know how to link a video, so go to your favorite and watch. Then, use those imaginations and picture in your mind's eye what it would be like if performed by these fine folks:
Guns - n - Roses
Talking Heads
Bob Dylan
Stevie Nicks
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Dave Matthews Band
Cold Play
The Boss
The Eagles
The Beastie Boys
Bon Jovi
Ray Lamontagne
Macy Gray
Grateful Dead (2 hour jam mix)
Amy Winehouse
or , perhaps the best mashup, Susan Boyle!
Sorry for that last one, but it would be fun! Jimmy Fallon should add a new bit to his show and have "The Pants On The Ground Jukebox" where he and The Roots spin a big wheel with the names of different artists on it, and then perform the song under the impression of the artist. I would love it! One thing is for sure, that song will give me PLENTY of ride stoke this year, I'll do all my own versions! I will be riding alone no matter what! Later!
P.S. Check out the new link, "No Visible Lycra" on the right. It's the blog of a guy from England who surfed to my blog with the Next Blog button, and read down to my Stanley post, after having bought the same "Thermos" himself! Puttin' the "World Wide" in www! Later!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Enjoying The Day

Some pictures from today's merriment. The frost on the trees, bushes, wires, etc. was so brilliantly white! My ridin' camera doesn't show it very well, but it sure was cool. This one turned out blurry because of condensation on the lens, but it has a weird effect.

Some of the drifts were a good 12 feet tall, maybe even more?

I rode past one of the county grader operaters, Mr. Bob Matt,(a personal friend of myself and Kelli) and gave him a big wave. He immediately texted to his wife that she would never guess who just rode by on a bicycle, happy as hell! Well, I think she knew that it was either me or Sherwood Salem, the only two guys in Boone who would be on a bike today! Bob's wife is a beautician where Mitchell and Marshall get their hair cut, and Kelli had Mitch in for a trim today, so she had to answer all of the usual questions about my bike riding choices(Is he crazy? Isn't it dangerous? Does he go out in this weather all the time? etc. Yes , No, Yes:) I can't get away with anything in this town!
Oh, and the coffee I poured at 10:30 was still warm at my turn around spot, and when I returned home, and at 7:30 when I sipped the last capfull! Later! Travel Gravel!

New Riding Partners

Select rides for the rest of this winter and into the coming years will now feature this beauty! 1.0 litres of fun loving, coffee hauling, green hammer-textured, made in the USA! convenience. For the heck of it I actually read the leaflet that was inside of the bottle, and picked up a valuable tip! I never would have thought of this, and when I mentioned it to a few people at work, they looked at me like I was retarded! If you pour some hot water into the bottle and let it warm the bottle for 5 minutes, then empty it and pour your beverage in, the bottle is pre-warmed and keeps the coffee warm longer. Works with cold drinks too. Hmmmmm. Who'd a thunk it?
Now I'm no coffee snob, not by a long shot, but I do like the idea of stopping in the middle of my route, popping open the pour valve, and sipping on a nice warm cup o' joe. Just black coffee with a little sweetener, no foamy crap, no pinch of nutmeg, no special, super-cool recipe. Water, grounds, 5 minutes to brew, and it's ready. Good to the last drop!
Did you ever notice that the coffee at work, wherever you work, tastes different than any other coffee? It's like the work coffee becomes the standard for taste, an index of flavor,and all other coffees, wherever you get your mitts around them, have their own flavor. At least that has been my experience. I only recently started making coffee at home, so maybe the home brew will take over as the benchmark taste. I hope so, as our coffee at work is CHEAP coffee! In a one-coffee-drinker household though, it is hard to get anyone else into coffee. Kelli HATES! the smell of coffee being brewed. Something about her first job, and having to get up at 5:00 am to go to work at the old folks' home, and preparing their Sanka, has spoiled her from ever liking coffee again! Too bad, as I read recently in the Wall Street Journal that there is valid scientific data that proves coffee to be beneficial to a person's health and well being.
So, I think I'll post this bit of non-sense and load up the Stanley, and hit the road! Oh, and I'll be buying this companion piece later today too! A little creature comfort goes a long way out there! Later! Travel Gravel!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Great Night Ride

Wednesday night presented me with an opportunity to go out for a nice Winter night ride, so naturally I jumped on a bike and took off on my usual route. Conditions were perfect, about 25 degrees, fresh snow to the tune of about 2 inches, and a slight wind from the North/Northwest at about 10mph. Just enough to give me some boost on the way home, but not enough to really chill me on the way up.
I was also interested in testing out a couple of Goodwill apparel finds. I love Goodwill. It's so interesting to stroll through there and see what others have decided they don't need anymore. If you are patient, and a little creative, you can find some stuff that you will actually use. I snagged a pair of Thinsulate booties for a buck forty nine, and a Cabela's fleece lined, polyester shelled cap, for $.79! Still had the tags on both! The rest of my layering and outer shells always works pretty well, so these "new" elements needed a shakedown cruise. Both pieces worked out quite well. I rarely wear a helmet, so the hat was a great fit and is multi-adjustable for wind buffering capabilities. The booties were a little snug with thin socks on, so next ride I'll probably just go with the booties inside of my boots.
So, onward through the night, I rode the 10 miles up to my first turn, sat up to coast around the corner, and my rear wheel crunched and the cassette came loose from the freewheel body! Not Good Sauceman! Have you ever been 10 miles from home, in the middle of nowhere Iowa, in spitting snow, only one other person in the world knows where you are (and they were happy to get rid of you for a couple hours,) and your wheel craps the bed on you?! I stood there in disbelief for a few minutes, then thought of a way to MacGuyver the situation well enough to get back home. (No cell phone bailouts in my world:) I took a couple of zip ties out of my M.U.L.E. and a boot lace out of my left boot, and wrapped the lace around the outside of the cassette, between it and the drop out. A couple of zip ties to hold it in place. One more zip tie to close up the boot and I was moving again. I walked 2 hills just so as not to stretch my luck too thin, but rode all the way up to the point that seems to always hang me up when I really want to get back home, the UP main line crossing at the end of the Boone Yard!
Rolled home in a little over 2 hours and 15 minutes, thumbs up for the new riding wear, and a confidence boost for thinking and solving, without any panic ,for the mechanical issue. Gotta love it! Later! P.S. Northwestern just made the best comeback of any bowl game I've seen in the last several years!