Thursday, June 5, 2008

Maybe We're Not As Cool As Portland

(Things have been busy lately. Here's a post I meant to put up, oh, last week sometime ...)

Maybe they are just that much better than us. But we have had a lot of very Portlandesque weather lately. Rain yesterday, rain today. Tomorrow? Rain. Last weekend? Rain. This coming weekend? Hey, looks like rain. Check out the window right now -- hey, it's raining! And raining hard.

Take THIS Portland. Here's a little quote: “I’ve been really upset by what I perceive to be Portland’s blind spot in its progressivism,” said Khaela Maricich, a local artist and musician. “They think they live in the best city in the country, but it’s all about saving the environment and things like that. It’s not really about social issues. It’s upper-middle-class progressivism, really.” (In all fairness, I think you could sub Mpls for Portland and wind up with an apt observation about many neighborhoods in our fair burg.) I stumbled across the quote and story above on a fun little blahg called Stuff White People Like. Check it out if yer not afraid to laugh at yerself.

Spring has been a bit slow this year. We're finally getting our April showers in June. Back in Tennessee I never thought about mounting fenders on a bike. Up here most of the bikes in my stable have fenders and I have a couple varieties of clip-ons as well for those that don't.

Recently, I wanted to give my Cross-Check fixed gear a shiny new drive train. The nice, rather old school, Sugino crank on it has been through three bikes -- that's after I bought it used. Those other two bikes were my winter bikes. Who thinks about chainrings until you need to change them?

I cranked on those bolts. I modified a chainring spanner in attempts to make it seat better in the nut. I tried three days of soaking in WD-40. Finally, I drilled them out at work. What a fun project. Worn out ring removed, I was able to install my new stainless steel ring. It's purdy.

Sylvia was very eager to help me reinstall the crank. She's getting handy with the hex wrenches.

I was watching both girls, so I tried to get Willa into the action, too. She kept yanking the rear wheel out when I'd try to center and tighten it. Shiny, spinny things are pretty darn fascinating to an infant.

Later in the week I had planned an urban overnight camping trip. That day I found out Wrex was playing a show at the 7th St Entry. Only Seth had signed on for the camping trip, so we re-routed downtown for some face melting rock action. Wrex's band was awesome. The headliners sucked.

Jim stopped off for a beer with us on our way into town. We were actually having a good time, but this photo makes it look as if we had just had an argument or something. Maybe it was just time for another beer.

Seth at the Entry contemplating the various levels of suckitude the headlining band was exhibiting. We both agreed their calling was to become an Alice in Chains cover band. Unfortunately, they missed their calling.

Can you count the people in the crowd? You won't need more than one hand because there weren't any after the good bands left the stage. We went downstairs with Wrex's band and talked about how bad the guys on stage were.

I don't often get to go out and catch a show. It's certainly fun every once in a while, even if the band is less than inspiring. Still, it wasn't a bad use of $5. After the Entry I cruised to Nordeast with some other friends -- Rollin and another fellow, John. We went to Stasiu's -- home of the classiest art deco urinals I have ever seen. Cruising home at 2:30 in the morn was nice. I always say that, don't I? But seriously riding in the city at night is incredibly peaceful, a sharp contrast to the craziness of the day. Cool air, city lights, the humming sound of tires on pavement, memories of a good night with friends ... oh, yeah.


Stephen & Rachel said...

John, this post made me laugh out loud.

erbine said...

I gotta say I really enjoy reading your blog. And Stuff White People Like has been cracking me up consistently for the last couple months.

Patch O'Houli said...

Erbine, thanks for the comment.

Oh, and you, too, Rach!