Monday, October 12, 2015


at the end of the bike racing season, i was looking for a fat bike. they used to call them snow bikes, because they were invented for rising in snow, but it turns out they're good for a lot more than that, so they just call them fat bikes now.

the reason i was looking for one is because on days when i don't ski and don't build snohaus, it would be nice to have the opportunity to go biking, and where i live they actually maintain winter trails for that, but you need a fat bike because snow.

the idea is that its very wide (4.5 inches) and low pressure tires function like snowshoes and just go through everything.

so cool.

a guy i know sold me a nice second hand one, low mileage, good price.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

circle of life

last summer i was having some leg cramps, so i bought a few bananas.

i have not yet figured out how NOT to have a fruit fly infestation if i have fresh fruit on my counters, and you KNOW you can't stick banananananas in the fridge.

you can either get all upset about sharing you space with the drosophilae, or you can enjoy observing their life cycles.

you just know which attitude i took.

of course you do.

because science.


no, they don't eat much. yes, i put out traps. yes, they're gone now.

you're welcome.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

dark of moon

did you see the lunar eclipse at the end of last month?

it was kind of a big deal for me. i was living out at casa quince. from home it would have been a simple thing. go out the door and look.

but it was different out at casa quince.

first of all, it gets dark early this time of year, and when it gets dark, i want to wind down and go to bed. casa quince faces west and has a hillside behind it, so to even look at the moon at all, i had to get in a boat and leave camp.

and it was COLD out.

there wasn't going to be any sitting in my little boat just off of my cove. i was going to have to paddle to keep warm.

but i was alone out there. usually there are other people on the sites and i can see their lights.

i'm a diurnal creature. and i feel pretty secure on my campsite alone in the dark as long as i can see it in the daylight. intellectually i know that it's not safer before the sun sets than after, but something back in my lizard brain needs to survey camp, settle in, and hunker down until morning.

from my site i could see that i was the only person in my immediate neighborhood, but out on the water i could see a long way up and down the res and the feeling of lonely nearly swallowed me up. places that are usually devoid of people never seem lonely to me, but places that have recently held people and lights seem very, very empty when they are dark and i am alone.

once i was clear of my cove the light of the moon fell on me so brightly i almost heard the click of it being turned on. the water was still and black and my boat is a pale grey, so that was quite a contrast.

it was too cold to just sit and watch, so nothing to do but paddle. south, around the point, toward the state park. less scary than paddling into narrower nothings and shallower water with snags.

owls hooted. coyotes yodeled. i whistled in the dark.

yeah, i know that's an expression, but i did it. literally.

and then THE NOISE.

it was loud. it seemed to whirl around me.

what? geese? don't they settle DOWN at night? i had not heard geese all day, and here was a huge invisible flock wheeling over my head.

holy. honk.

so i kept paddling. after a while i could see tiny friendly lights at the state park. a fire here, a headlamp there. still some miles off, but friendly feeling.

way down at the state park there was nobody down on the shore and i watched the moon enter the shadow of the earth.

and then i realized: i will be paddling home into the dark of the deserted north end by less and less moonlight as the eclipse enters totality. i know from experience that i will not be able to see my friendly little camp lights until i am around the point, almost at my cove.

darkness. still water. and a disappearing moon.

i know why this happens. i understand about the shadow and the orbits.

but a primal awe and fear overtakes me: the moon should not be doing that. it is getting darker and i am not at home.

away from the tiny friendly lights of the sate park, up into the narrowing dark, racing the decreasing moonlight.

home. home. i am going home.

at last i see my tiny little lights. i pause in my cove and watch the last of the moon be swallowed by the shadow. i beach my boats and go up to sit by my fire.

goodnight, goodnight.

Friday, October 09, 2015

a box!

ok, so way back in APRIL i received in the mail a very exciting box. it had some things in it, but the most exciting was this thing:

Thursday, October 08, 2015

trail spirits

sometimes at my local mountain bike venue, these little guys show up next to trails. i have a theory about how they appear and where they go to, but it's just a theory.

some seasons they seem to be all over the place.

this season i only found three:

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

...and sat down beside her...

my parents have weird senses of humor.

as a child my dad taught me the little miss muffet rhyme:

little miss muffet sat on a tuffet
eating her curds and whey
along came a spider and sat down beside her
and said:
"whatcha got in the bowl, babe?"

mmmhm. yeah. things were like that for me and my sister.

very funny, dad.

anyway, i was at my dad's house some weeks ago and we saw this beautiful spider in the planter near the door:

a little research tells me it's a black and yellow garden spider, which is somehow slightly unsatisfying in terms of species identification.

"yes, i could tell it's a black and yellow spider. it is black and yellow. and it's a spider."


lovely animal.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

adventures in deliciousness

ok, so it's autumn, which means the very best of cider donuts. go ahead, buy a whole bunch. at the cold hollow cider mill they're six dollars a dozen.

ok, now you are out at your campsite and you have stale cider donuts.

this is what you should do: pop one of those babies on a roasting stick and slow roast it alongside a marshmallow.

i do not need to tell you how to proceed next.


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