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Posts tagged ‘weather’

Tuesday Truth

Riding the trainer is to bike racing as swimming the pool is to paddling out in a good swell.

Substitutions, while sometimes necessary, are never as good as the real thing.

Where’s my Northwest swell? It’s almost November already.

{taps foot impatiently}

How about another picture, while we wait?

Photo copyright Chris. Used with permission.

Still Life

Still Life with Fruit Bowl, #5.

The Virga, she is smiling. We just might need to re-stock the fruit bowl soon.


* *

A friend of mine is a digital artist. Lovely stuff. She recently went to a big conference thingy with other digital artists. One of the best pieces? RealSnailMail.

Real snails will collect your message and carry it to the drop off point, at which time it will be delivered. Average time from pick-up to delivery? 8-16 days, depending on how speedy your snail happens to be.

Oh, and there are currently 7000 messages cued for delivery, so it might take a little while. Speed, so totally over-rated.

Want to meet the artists? Head over to NPR and hear an interview.

Brilliant, really.

FREE THE BABBLE!

This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations.
Apparently, the good people at Google think that us Bellas are a bunch of good for nothing spammers. We’re innocent, I tell ya. I mean, I haven’t written about Viagra once on the Race Blog. Promise. Silly Google People. FREE THE BABBLE!

Orographically Enhanced. Weather report or porn star? You decide.

I had this idea that I was going to lift more this winter. Usually, I crack and give it up. Really, I’m no fan of the gym place, and counting to 15 over and over is not exactly my idea of a good time. But the weather decided to help me out. It’s fucking pouring. That, and I discovered the rolly ball balance thingy. Fun times. I did nearly land on my ass, but since there was no one around to see, it didn’t actually happen.

Someone at the Red Lobster corporate mothership decided that the gym was a good place to advertise. Nothing like seeing pictures of fried fish bits being dipped into vats of butter while you’re doing crunches. Sea cockroaches, yum.

CNN sent some poor schmuck to stand by the side of the road in Truckee. Yep, it’s snowing, yes indeed. Sillier still, there were people sitting in their cars on the Eighty, in the belief that they were actually going to get somewhere. Um, like, hello? Any y’all ever looked at a weather report? Let’s go drive over Donner Pass during the biggest storm of the year. Brilliant.

A Janet Jackson video came on. My pod was playing System of a Down. It was confusing.

Then, I rode the trainer. Some surfers shredded it on my laptop. That was good of them to show up and help me out like that. And, better still, I finally found a use for that copy of War and Peace I got for Christmas. Because it’s not like I’m going to read the thing.

Apparently, Obama won in Iowa. That’s nice. I’m glad the good people of Iowa have something to do with their time during the dark days of winter. All those caucuses and town meetings, diners and high school gymnasiums: it makes a lovely advertisement for participatory democracy. Can you give me a little more sepia? Maybe soften the focus up a smidge? Perfect.

Keep your eye on my finger and listen to the sound of my voice. Spectatory Democracy. (And no, that is not a word. I made it up. Sue me. Actually, on second thought, that would be a really bad idea. The suing part, I mean. How ’bout I promise not to make up any more words instead? Because there’s a promise I can keep.) Gather around the glowing box and gaze upon the empty pageantry of presidential politicking. Red, white, and blue bunting. So hot this year.

I hit 50 on Free Rice. I’m not sure this is a good thing.

Yikes, there’s a whole lotta water out there right now. Um, I think I’m over it. How about skipping the orographically enhanced part? Un-enhanced is perfectly fine with me.

Into the Belly of a Hair Dryer

I just put lotion up my nose. It smells better than vaseline.

I rode up into the hills yesterday into the belly of a hair dryer. Warm winds whorled through the canyon crevices, the scaled road surface shimmering in the searing sunlight. My feet swelled in protest.

You have to climb to get to the climb, up through million dollar views, their twisting driveways peeling back from the main road. An old waterworks, green concrete built in the days of the WPA, stands guard at the base of the mountain. Extreme Fire Danger, reads the only warning sign. Past the reservoir, once above ground, now buried, you take your first bite out the climb. You feel sated, but this is only the beginning. Through the first steep set of corners, you reconsider. Somewhere your couch is calling, but you ignore it for now. The first false flat isn’t flat, but relative to what comes before and after, it feels like it might be. Your confidence builds and recedes. Gravity’s invisible hand pulls, your legs push.

The road snakes it way up the mountain, topping out at four thousand feet. In a fit of lizardish laziness, I stopped short of the summit. The view commanded the channel, the islands closer than they appeared, the city pixellated in white, red, silver, and green. Maybe if I’d taken a picture, you could see what I mean. And, I wouldn’t have to write so much. Writing is hard.

Swooping down through the switchbacked corners, the scenery blurs vertiginously. Steep drop-offs stalk the unwary. Potholes pockmark the road surface, a cratered moonscape. The brakes burn, your hands cramp. Dodge the guy wrong-siding it, climbing too hard, too delirious to see the danger in a blind corner on a one lane road. You look over the edge, the view extends across the canyon out to sea.

Far below, a car inches its way upward, still small in the distance. You’ll hear it long before you see it, surprising you behind the next corner, its mass monopolizing the road. You slip between it and the mountain side, a few centimeters to spare. The road straightens, flattens, then turns again. Your internal compass spins haplessly, seeking its bearings and finding none. A steep series of corners, none of them banked, lures you downward. Come here little girl, I’ll give you some candy. You open the brakes, concede to temptation. Someone has painted “pave” on the road. An arrow points to a hole roughly patched. You corner again, wheels angled, a physics problem brought to life and set in motion. A straight steep chute ends with a stop sign. You wonder if you can. You do, but just.

The air feels slightly cooler here, down off the mountain, but not by much. Your sweat is long dried, evaporated nearly as fast as it appeared, leaving only salt behind to mark its visit. There’s a Coke in the refrigerator, and the refrigerator lies just down the hill. You roll in the door, still in the twelve.

Disclaimers: This post brought to you by the Alliance for the Affirmation of Alliteration. In honor of the awkwardly named Third World Conference on Doping, no espresso was consumed in the composition of this post, a herculean feat never to be repeated here.

Got surf?

It’s tough being the first North swell of the season. There you are, frisking about up around Alaska, waving at the polar bears, tossing a few boats around, making the cruise director queasy.

Meanwhile, down in Cali, everyone’s watching you. They’ve seen your picture, they know what you look like. You’re a sexy swirling thing, twisting the night away for the satellite cameras. Smile, say cheese. You’re the blip on a graph, the hump of the curve, passing through the wires from screen to glowing screen.

Everyone knows you’re out there. Everyone knows you’re coming. They’re putting their racks on the car, planning vacation days, and stopping by the beach every hour.

Is it here yet? Is it showing?

But it’s a long way to Cali, and you’re starting to feel lazy. You make a stop by Santa Cruz. Everyone is so glad to see you. It’s nice. But it’s such a tiresome business being a swell. You have to work so hard to make the perfect peaks. Too many lulls, and you’re judged a fizzle.

Then, the wind picks up, and you’re thinking is it really worth the trouble? Down South, they’re still waiting for you.

So much pressure.

. . .

Today was the day. A north swell, bringing surf galore was supposed to roll into town, which is an unusual thing for October. So far, nothing. Here and there, a hint, a teaser, but no waves. It’s nice to know some things are still unpredictable.

Still, I think I’ll go for a little bike ride. And I’ll make sure to pass by the beach.

Because you just never know.