Denver Rock Stars.

January 27, 2008

You can meet some interesting people on a warm day downtown.

This guy only plays mornings, and open mikes, in town a limited time from New York.

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Punks with banjos have this strange rightness about them.

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Michael Moore is now living in a $10 a night hotel, working for his rent.

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more Denver photos on my flicker http://www.flickr.com/photos/22698798@N03/

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Phlegm Into The Wind

January 26, 2008

Riding down a road that is way to busy at 11am in the middle of nowhere I get the dust kicked up by the wind and cars stuck down my throat.  I try to cough it up over my shoulder, but it has other plans, and as I look forward again, it all comes up in a huge glob of phlegm, which hits the head wind, then smacks the side of my face, and trails off my cheek.  Instinctively I wipe at it, which only smears it across my face and my left hand.

I get to the DMV, slop the glob of phlegm on my hand off on the ground, lock up and go in.  just after the camera flashes for my id photo i realize i still have phlegm all over my face.  that explains the weird looks i got from every one in line.  Also, inseatd of a state id, they gave me a drivers license, with out any kind of test.

Some Photos

January 26, 2008

i got a new camera and snapped some shots.dsc_0066.jpg

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Nifty Skid Patch Widget

January 23, 2008

If you want to make your tires last, don’t like math, and have a mac: skid patch widget
Now get out their and skid that track bike.

Whats In The Box?

January 21, 2008

I wonder whats in the box?photo-12.jpg

What Greyhound did to the boxphoto-13.jpg

Frame pictures macbook style as the camera is charging, better ones lower down.

The bike

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BREW decal

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Better photos:

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Greyhound bus pt. 2

January 21, 2008

To the old man of Winston-Salem;
You started talking to me about Machiavelli, and actually seemed sane for a few minutes, and I am sorry about your sons crack addiction, but you need to get some help with your Alzheimer’s, then you wont spend your time in bus stations telling people your life story, twice.

To the woman on her cell between Charlotte and Atlanta;
Its two am, you have been on your phone since midnight. Every one on the bus is trying to sleep, but you’re yelling down the phone at your friend. It is slightly interesting how horrible a person you are, and how good you think your life is now that you got a 75 year old ex army man “for security” and some one else to “take care of your needs”, yet you “can’t be bought”. There is nothing wrong with playing both sides against the middle, unless the middle is you. I’m just not as shocked as you that your children don’t want anything to do with you.

To the train hopping punk between Atlanta and St. Louis;
Keep riding the rails, it fits your temperament.

To the four loud rednecks from St Louis to Denver;
I am constantly asking the question why when peoples intelligence drop, their volume rises? Watching you talk I could see your brain cells tripping over each other. No one on the bus wants to know where your fist has been, and making fun of some one with 2 teeth when you have a total of three is just wrong.

To any one who feels the need to yell down a buss, or across a bus station;
I know it goes against your trailer park, daytime TV ethics, but instead of screaming you could walk the five feet up to the person you want to talk to, and then ask your question. If you do this enough you might even lose some of that country-fried bulk.

Frame Building Class Day 5

January 19, 2008

I over slept this morning, had to hurry to get dressed, and out the door, pulling a shirt on, with a coffee cup hanging out of my mouth. Its finally warm, and the snow is melting, this is what the south is supposed to feel like.

We take an early lunch because Steve’s son comes round, and we all head to the bar-be que place from day one. One of the best things about the class is Steve and Kim go out of their way to make us feel welcome in their town, showing us the good spots, and telling us a bunch of interesting stories about people and places around town, playing with their dogs, joking around and having a good time during class.

I hat my seat stays all ground in and tacked before lunch, so we take my frame out of the jig and throw it on the frame table to check the alignment. I’m a few millimeters off in front and back, but nothing serious. Steve and I get the frame welded, and after a little fiddling with the track ends its spot on. I grab the grinder, and go to town on my track ends to shape them up nicely, then its only about an hours worth of sanding, and I’m ready for the hardest part of the week: choosing a frame color.

I start out with about six choices, and slowly narrow it down to one. We clean out the powder coating equipment, chase the bottom bracket threads, and ream the seat tube. Kim and me wash the frame, and while it’s baking in the dryer I snap a ton of pictures. My classmate is catching up, and has his frame tacked by the time mine is out of the oven.

Powder coating works by using electricity to attract the color particles to the frame using positive and negative charge, this means that when you spray it, it makes an electric zapping sound like when you get got by static electricity. That is differently the second coolest thing about powder, but you have to wait until Monday to see the first.

Frame Building Class Day 4

January 19, 2008

I love the south because where other people see the useless result of making cornmeal; they see a delicious and notorious instant breakfast.good ol fud

When I woke up it was snowing, by the time we finished breakfast it had turned to freezing rain, the result is a wide field that looks like its covered in snow but is actually a skating rink, designed for doing hand break 360s in your classmates rental car.

At BREW we grab some morning coffee, and I tack my front triangle, and pick out my track ends and my chain stays, drill the vent holes in the bottom bracket, all before lunch. I’m getting pretty confidant that I might have the frame tacked by the end of the day.

For lunch we hit up another good local restaurant, Chinese today and I scarf down a massive spring roll and some tofu and mixed veggies.

Back at the workshop Steve helps me tack the track ends to the chain stays, and set the jig. I head over to the grinding wheel. Steve is looking at my classmates jig, “some thing is wrong” he says, “what’s your bottom Bracket height?” A consultation of the frame sheet, and some fiddling with the jig, and every thing is re-set right. They go to tack in his down tube, and it’s to short. They start cutting and grinding, and I finish off my chain stays, and tack them in.

I grab some seat stays and start grinding, after about fifteen minuets of grinding and not getting any thing close to a fit, I realize that I’ve done something wrong, and destroyed the seat stay. I trade it for a new one, and get them started. At this point exhaustion has set in, and its time to call it a night. I’m chain stays and a paint job away from a bike.

Frame Building Class Day 3

January 18, 2008

Last night we designed our frames on paper, this morning we set up jigs and selected tubing. I went with an externally butted seat tube, and started grinding away at it. It takes a while to get the seat tube fitted but by lunchtime we had our bottom brackets welded to our seat posts, and our jig angels all set.

We go out to lunch, and I get to see “down town” West Jefferson. The town is tiny, but it has some great restaurants, we had Japanese yesterday I had steamed veggies in a pretty good sauce, and a salad with a great ginger sauce. Today its Italian, the restaurant could have been a pretty good night club, or venue, its huge with a stage near the front, a second level that looks down on the first, and a totally isolated third floor. The food is really good and cheep. The vegan option is past with marina, salad and bread sticks.

After lunch we sort out our head tubes, get them cut and filled, and set in the jig, and choose our bottom and top tubes.

We close early for the day so me and the other student decide to see what nightlife this town has to offer. Ashe County is dry, but the town allows beer and wine to be sold in store, and by the drink. They just legalized liquor by the drink in 2007, and the sheriff still shouts down moonshine stills.

Main street is dead, so is the street on either side, we stop for gas and the station clerk tells us the only bar in town is the bowling ally. We figure booze and heavy objects go well together and heard over. We try to get a pitcher, but the bartender wont sever me because he doesn’t know what a passport looks like, and its not in his book of ids. We bowl a game, and grab a few beers and the supper market, and stay up late exchanging stories.

We swap stories about drunken wanton destruction, usualy involving fire, and that strange force that guides drunks away from the arms of the law.

A short trip to the gas station and they have every thing they need. The go down to the guys old house, light the rag, and toss a few cocktails onto the porch, which is immediately enveloped by flames. In a few second they hear sirens headed their way, so they deiced that the best way not to get caught is to hide in some bushes across the street and watch the firemen put it out. Through the cosmic forces that guides young men though the moments when alcohol and petrol bombs mix, they mange not to get caught, and not to kill anything.

Frame Building Class Day 2

January 18, 2008

We spent half of today in the shop, getting used to the welders and equipment. TIG welding uses a conductive material (tungsten) that you have to sharpen on a grinder, to create an electrical arc, which makes a lot of heat and light and melts metal. Argon and inert gas is used to keep the weld contaminant free. The first thing you learn is not to look at the arc, if your me you learn the hard way and your eyes feel like some one poured sand in them, if you catch a full view, you go to the hospital.

Steve shows us how it’s done, then leaves us to practice. Using lots of electricity to heat steel up until it melts, and stick it to something is exactly as cool as it sounds. It is also hard, really hard. At first I get the welder stuck to the table, and mange some serious burn marks on the material, after a few hours I’ve got stuff red hot, and by the end of the day I’ve gotten a pool of molten metal, and moved it in a straight line, and around a bend. I’ve even melted some welding rod in droplets close enough to each other to almost look like a weld.

My eyes are burning, so my plans for the rest of my Tuesday are to sit in the dark and debate the merits of modern medicine to those with out health care.