Tuesday, August 31, 2010


The American flags on this House of Security Biz are OK. But, really, are there enough? I have more flags on my bicycle. I wish I could fit a few more, but they keep getting tangled up in my spokes, and I fall down. Nonetheless, I am proud of my bruises. It's the least I can do for the troops. Another reason to not wear a helmet.

If I had a place like this, I would easily have twice as many flags and they would be bigger, a lot bigger. It's almost as if the owners of this place are kind of ashamed of America. I don't get it. Why?

I guess it can be expected though. If you look at their logo - Total Security, they only made one of the Ts in "Total" into a cross. Again, a half-hearted nod to the King of Security Himself. Is this a slap at Christianity? One cross when you could have two? You could even make a cross out of the t in "Security" if you were worried about it looking weird with just two. I don't need to remind you that there were three crosses on Golgotha that day, my friends. It works scripturally and from a design perspective. Think about it.

How are you ever going to get anyone to surrender their trust to your business when they can't be certain of your loyalties?

Total? Hardly.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cool bike lane graphics....

as seen here:


Monday, August 23, 2010

Why bagging your dog's shit is crucial.

That looks like Sperry Topsider Tread.

As seen in the REI parking lot.

Badger Lake O'er Nighter

Thanks to John for another great trip out to Badger Lake and into uncharted territory. If you want to read a really good account of the trip, go here.

I decided to outfit the Masi for camping. Last year, I used the XtraCycle, which was really heavy but had a much lower center of gravity. I fell down this year.... a lot.

Pulling in to the Fish Lake Trailhead.

The smoking incident.

Securing provisions at the grocery store in Cheney. Glen noticed they had the smallest produce section of any grocery store he had been in. Conversely, they had the usual, standard refrigerator of beer and then an auxiliary living-room-sized, walk-in cooler of beer. This store has its priorities straight.

Sharing a laugh whilst contemplating the impending nightfall.

And onward.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


When I was in third grade, I hit the zenith of my fashion sensibility. My third grade photo shows bucktooth me sporting a green paisley shirt with an orange dickie. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's basically the business end of a turtleneck with no arms, and really no front or back beside the minimal fabric that will show inside the front of a button down shirt. Back in the day, there were no Walmarts. Clothes were expensive because the people who made them raised their families on their wages, right here in the USA. So, if you could get by with just the part of the turtleneck that showed, you did.

Anyway, for some reason, my fashion sense quickly faded shortly after the dickie/paisley combo. Maybe it was the beatings by classmates. Some of the girls were pretty tough. All I know, is I outgrew that shirt, and that was that. And now here I am typing, wearing a torn Spokane Zombie T-Shirt and a sportkilt that really needs to be washed. And I gotta tell you, I really don't like any part of a turtleneck anymore. They feel tight on my neck and they look shitty on me. Plus, if you can't find your shirt at Boo Radley's or Fish Respectin' maybe you should think twice about a new one anyhow. That's where I was.

Sarah gave me a shot at redemption the other day. She offered to make me a shop apron for working on the bikes. I have been wearing a regular BBQ apron and it allows about 3" of kilt exposure. Sometimes, grease finds those 3". For Sarah to do this was a pretty neat thing. She isn't really into sewing that much, even though she is extremely good at it and has made some cool things. If she could grow me a shop apron in her flower gardens, she would, but she offered to sew one, and I took her up on it.

So, here is the material:

And the apron turned out great!

At the fabric store, I noticed that they had more black velveteen being unloaded. Could it be that some more black velvet paintings are being created here? This could put Spokane solidly on the art map. I have a new BV canvas stretched, but I've been trying to learn me some water color pencil chops first. Been working on some trauma inspired poetry and watercolor combos. It is very cathartic.


Maybe some bicycle chaps next? Maybe I'm pressing my luck?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Anniversary Ride

Three days ago, Sarah and I celebrated our 19th anniversary. So we thought a little ride and picnic were in order. I thought we were headed to Deep Creek and was very confused by Sarah's lead. She thought we were going to Fish Lake. And you know what? We were. And we did.

On the way back, another flat in the back, this time with a good-sized hole. So, I replaced the tire with a knobbier, heavier one. I was about 3 mph slower bombing down Regal this morning with the knobby. Hmmmm.

I have to say, it is really nice having the bag and basket on the Masi. I still really like the XtraCycle's big load carrying capacity, but on this ride I was able to carry sandwiches, wine, a cooler, a tarp, etc. and peddle kinda fast.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A heavy trip up a new street.

Took the Masi out for a 20 mile spin today to see how the new front rack set-up works with the saddle bag. Stuck 15 pounds in each. Hopefully, that's twice what I will be carrying for the next camping trip.

On the way out, I headed south on the newly paved Lincoln Street. All I could think about is what a difference a new mayor and a new city council made, since the repaving to the east.

I will never forget the day my family and I walked up the newly finished, but not yet open, Stevens, Ben Garnett, Grove and Bernard from Downtown to our home. We were anxious to see sidewalks where none existed before. We wondered about how much better this was now going to be for bikers, walkers and traffic. The answer came quickly. There were no changes. No sidewalks. No bike lanes until you got up to 14th where parking lanes could also be used by bikes if no one else was using them.

Best of all, many trees were removed. Studies showed that lesser-treed streets were streets that encouraged speeding. And that proved to be true. I remember the mayor at the time saying that there was nothing that could be done. The project had to go through without any changes to the street design. This was after they dug everything out - down to the dirt - the perfect, cheapest time to make changes. There was a lot of citizen input that was ignored or explained away. Everyone remembers the big save-the-trees controversy. In the end, laziness and arrogance carried the day.

Lincoln Street is a testament to what happens when you have a city government that listens to what people want and is unafraid to do work and to innovate. The swales in the parking strips will collect rainwater, filter it and send to Cannon Hill pond. In the picture you can see where these swales jut out to collect stormwater. This makes sense in a lot of ways, plus it looks really cool.

The street is still heavily treed. There are no bike lanes, but I think I will always prefer to travel on a street where cars go the speed limit, a street with some shade and one that at least looks interesting rather than travel on a standard Spokane street in a bike lane. I would wager that drivers on this street are going to feel happier than drivers on Bernard. I think I would rather have that too.

And speaking of feeling happy, I was very happy with the front rack. It did a great job of balancing the saddle bag. The bike climbed up many a hill and bombed down. It felt great!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Dreamtime Continues....

After the usual being up all night, mitigating bizarre conundrums (things that when related seem far-fetched, surreal and fictional) the parade continued on my ride home a couple of days ago.

A middle-aged fellow moving his belongings via the pitbull-ubiquitous BMX bike and shopping cart combo.

A pop-up camper work trailer/party hut modified for warm weather ops.

Upon closer inspection, this might have been the site of a release party for the new Starcraft II - Wings of Liberty.