Qui tangit frangatur.

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Friday, January 29, 2010

On finding The Happy

It is missing home: warm glow from towering candles at the altar, soot trails, twirly, twisty, steadily rising; chandeliers nodding sentinel overhead; earth-hued stucco walls softening long shadows draped across private alcoves; icons alive in shifting chiaroscuro; loss of self, melded in chorus, soaring into the night, through rafters, out windows, onto streets, filling worlds, filling souls; warm, tactile wood, grain worn smooth under skin; breath redolent of incense and myrrh; a voice confident, comforting, proclaiming, promising, echoing the same eternal promise; unshakeable, ever renewing, always reaffirming faith — and finding you beside me.

It is the long bus journey home, where, after an eternity of waiting and more jostling, having found a seat, you sat, head bowed, fatigued, drifting in and out of sleep, your pink and turquoise glasses framed by your lively crimson and jet black fringe. I stood watch over you, my world distilled to a right palm over the nape of your neck: breathing in tune to yours, kneading each tender knot of your hectic week away, forestalling every bump and jerk, transcending time, memory and place, as we lurch and bump on an expressway filled with nameless, impassive faces racing on their ritual Friday night journeys to nowhere.

It is our long rides in the quiet night; the cool, wee hours of the morning; roads damp after misty dawn; or, dusty and gravelly, tires crunching on pebbles popping, under a midday sun blazing; with every passing car or truck raising my hair, racing my pulse, because, because I'm terrified of anything bad ever happening to you; any hurt coming your way; of you taken away.

It is the mute awe, pride, and respect I bear as you grind up hill after hill after hill, sans toe-clips, sans clipless pedals, sans cycling shoes, sans grimace, sans complaint.

It is the wag of a furry tail as dogs eagerly approach us, friendly and confident of a reception of oos and ahhs — a flurry of pets on the head; a scratch behind the ear; tummy rubs; coos to doggy licks and cold noses; love reflected into their eyes — intuitively sensing a pair of irrepressible dog-lovers.

The inexplicable, ineffable manner with which you bring out my better side (despite the irascible troll in me).

The comfortable silences that have only just began.

Your softness.

Peals of your girlish laughter, coasting downhill in the crisp, Sunday morning breeze.

Your scent... and this breathless longing.

Stay a while?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles.
         (Scott Martin)

I usually don't post stuff like this (let alone double post), but I love it when I begin a ride in high spirits.

Here's an internal soundtrack running through my head as I embark on yet another 109.44 km (68.4 miles) non-stop, solo ride around (most of) the island.

         15 minutes to the witching hour.

         Hello, Pain!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ignorance is bliss

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
         (Benjamin Franklin)

'Walked past some contractors after lunch. 'Saw a rather familiar looking tool sticking out of a pile of debris. 'Asked the contractor if he still wants it.

"Oh, it's broken. Bent. Not accurate anymore," he said.

Fine. I brought it home.

What is it?

A Sears Craftsman 1/2" drive, 0-150 lbs ft. lb. (0-203 Nm) torque wrench.

As opposed to a click-type, the beam-type can be easily re-calibrated by the end-user. I.e. one second spent bending the indicator arm back to zero... and, it's as good as new! That, and these things are guaranteed for life. (Yes, some of us do read the fine print.)

Well, it's mine now.

It makes a fine complement to my Park Tools TW-1 1/4" drive, 0-60 inch pounds (0-7 Nm) and TW-2 3/8" drive, 0-600 inch pounds (0-70 Nm) torque wrenches. I am still looking for the late Sheldon Brown's elusive Tork-Grip Ultimate Torque Wrench.

So, remember, kids! If you get a flat on your bike, the bike's useless. (The same goes for your car.) Give it to me and I will dispose of it for you!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fly the friendly... err... airy skies!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Back to school

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Year's Resolution

For 2010, I will troll more and troll harder.

Be warned.
Be prepared.
Be scared.

Most of all, be angry. Please be very angry.
It will just make my victories all the sweeter.