Saturday, April 30, 2005

You throwing that out?

I am a collector. A connoisseur of junk, useless tidbits and odd baubles I find anywhere and everywhere. I may never find a need or have an inclination to utilize their unique qualities. And though I often recycle them into new and useful tasks, it is the act of collecting I seem hooked on. Bending over, picking it up, contemplating some future application and stashing it for the trip home.

As far back as my shaky recollection can go, I have collected. Large or small, I have always been fascinated by other folk's cast offs. My parents did their best to break me of the habit. Especially after that cool rock I found jammed the washing machine and fried the motor. The last straw was the day I scored 8 to 10 sheets of used plywood and stuck them out on the porch of our 3rd floor garden apartment. Dad was definitely not impressed. Even after I assured him they were destined for that one of a kind tree fort me and my buds were planning. It didn't matter, he made me haul them back from whence they came. He certainly had no appreciation of the time and effort it took to cart each one the 1/2 mile or so to our apartment. I sure found some appreciation when I took them back.

Fast forward 50 years. 50 years of unsupervised and unmonitored collecting. The garage became unusable 15 years ago. So I built a shed. Out of found stuff of course. It filled up 10 years ago. Now I just heave it all out into the yard. Over there is a crushed wheel barrow. The wheel is still good and holds air. Behind the shed, a pile of ancient barn boards continue their aging process. Scored some well tiles a few years ago. They sit unused in the pucker behind the house. Here a pile of old bricks. There a stand of 8 inch blocks. 275 feet of 2 inch plastic pipe leans up against the pines. Pulled it out of the well 5 or 6 years ago and couldn't bear to part with it. I have at least 5 lawn mowers. Only 2 work. And bikes. Jeez, the bikes, bike parts, old broken frames, wheels. Must be a 30 yard container worth. Yeah, I like to collect it all. Whatever it is.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Quickie

Just a quick note to all my fans. You know who you are. Cuz I sure don't. Anyway, I am hard into my busy season at my bikeshop. Any time I have for dubbing, playing, and fooling around is almost non-existent. And since I have always been poor at multi-tasking, I have had to cut out many of the useless, but pleasurable things I did this winter to stay sane. I will hopefully be back in full force when and if the spirit moves me. Like now for instance. I am not gone. Just taking a break from blogging to pay attention to the rest of my life.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A Freshly Kicked Testicle

Brian and I laid hardwood flooring in 2 rooms in his recently purchased house the other day. Like most plans we make together, this one got off to it's usual uneven start. The nailer Brian was scehduled to rent did not get returned on time, so he picked it up late. I ran into some odd glitches at the shop sucking an hour or so of precious nailing time from the equation. We finally got rolling around 1 in the afternoon. Only 4 hours late. Those 4 hours came back with a vengeance about 3 in the morning when we were still kneeling, nailing and cussing every cracked tongue when the nailer over amped. If not for Esther, Brian's girlfriend, we both might have self imploded. The 14 hours spent bent over on swollen knees was not the worst of it. Prying my eyes open 3 hours later to face my day was a morning I will not soon forget. My whole body felt like a freshly kicked testicle. I wanted to puke.

Like so many things in my life, Pain is just another facet of my existence that seems to be evolving as I spend more time on this planet. It's not like pain is any more intense. It just seems to settle in, kick back and over stay it's welcome. I can actually remember pain free days at some point in my past. Not anymore. There is always something complaining. My wrist, that knee, that kink in my neck, or that oh so special drop you to your knees sciatica.

I'm not complaining. Okay, yeah, I guess I am. It's more of a observational type whine. A notation on the aging process. A recogntion that getting old sucks. And since there's nothing else going on, I might as well piss and moan. I now have sympathy for old farts and I appreciate what is coming. Each new day brings on the possibility of another body part letting me down or letting me know to not do that anymore. And what's odd is, I never really saw it coming. Insidiously it crept up on me and one day I realized the muscular demands I took for granted were now but memories. Sustaining the same intensity I did when I was young and numb is done now through will power and clenched teeth. No wonder folks hate getting old.

Bike Lemmings

Finding time for the blog has been tough to locate of late. My bike shop is hard into the Spring windup. I could spend 24/7 down at the shop and still not stay ahead of the repairs and sales. Keeping a lid on it is impossible. We are now officially out of control. I will never understand why everyone seems to be on the same sort of bio-bike rythmn. The first week of April, something clicks, fires off, a specific synapse clicks simultaneously throughout York County, Maine. And like lemmings heading to the sea, everyone in a 20 mile radius yanks out their dusty and trusty bike and heads down to my shop. When I tell them 2 weeks, they all get that same odd put out look on their mugs. "2 Weeks? Why? I just brought in one bike. Surely you can have it for me by tomorrow. I need it for the weekend. I know I haven't ridden it for 10 years, but I absolutely need it this weekend. 10 years and 2 weeks is 2 weeks too long. "

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Dustball in God's Pocket

When I was a young punk, I took Chemistry in school. We were right in the middle of learning the Periodic Table, valences, protons, electrons, neutrons, etc. At the same time, I was also a regular at the local church of my choice. One day when I was hanging out just pondering the why of it all, I had this flash of insight as to what it all is really about. It went something like this.

The Universe is made up of planetary systems. Planetary systems are made up of planets revolving around a sun. There are billions and billions of these systems. This is exactly like atoms. Atoms are made up of varying numbers of electrons circling a nucleous. So, I figure our planet system is just an atom on the dust ball in God's pocket. Earth, but an electron in that dustball atom. This would make God a really, really, really big person. Which would fit right in with how some folks see him.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Unintentionally Sacrilegious

I had a dream last night. In this dream I found myself in a line that stretched to infinity. We constantly moved forward but seemed to make no headway. After what seemed an eternity, I entered a big hall. The line of people to the front were lost in the horizon as the aisle we were standing in blended with the huge alter at the end. I finally made it to the front. Stretched out on this huge pancake flipper was a clown with huge clown feet. His face was pasty white, his nose the obligatory redball and his white hair puffed out from under a cartoon version of a bishop's hat. Just as I got close enough to see the hairs in his nose, he sat up holding a sign that said, "I think we are all Bozo's on this bus". And then he smiled at me. One of those big semi toothy smiles of an old geezer. An old lady in front of me fainted and the guy behind me ran screaming down the aisle. I just stood there and grinned back.

I am not sure what this dream meant. But surely the recent demise of the Pope had something to do with it. Combine my renewed interest in Firesign Theater and what we have are all the ingredients needed for a truly bizarre REM encounter. I awoke disturbed but not like waking from a nightmare. I felt like I had done something naughty but couldn't put my finger on just what that naughty thing was. Regardless, an unusual dream in a mind not known to be a very fertile playground.