26 September 2010

Gerv!

Maybe you don't know Gerv.  You should.  Grant "Brad" Gerver is kind of a legendary dude in my world.

He was my cooperating teacher, back in 1992.  And it was he, more than anyone else, who taught me how to be a school teacher.  I think he did a pretty good job.  He's an awesome teacher.  Ask anyone who's ever learned from him or worked with him.  Everyone agrees.  He's one of a kind.  The very best.

His students always call him, "Gerv!"  Not Mr. G.  Definitely not Mr. Gerver.  Just Gerv.  My daughter calls him that, too.  So does my wife.  As do I.

We'd never met, Gerv and I, until I started my student teaching; I met him for the first time in the doorway of his classroom at Weitzel Elementary School.  He shook my hand and welcomed me sincerely.  That was a long, long time ago.  But we have been good friends ever since.

Gerv's retired now.  A well-deserved honor after many, many years of a job well done.  These days, when he's not out riding his bike hither-and-yon around town, he writes witty bumper-stickers, original blues songs, and plays his guitar in his little home-office under the stairs.

He's an incredible guitar player and has a voice that was made to sing the blues.

24 September 2010

March 1, 2020

I'm not good with dates.  In my lifetime I've forgotten my mom's and dad's birthdays several times.  Been off by a week or two for many friends', even girlfriends' birthdays, on several occasions.  I've missed performances, and rehearsals, and tons of other important things due to my disability with dates.  Once I even got fired for this; forgot to attend an important client's special event during my first year out of college while working in PR.

I deserved it.  It was a lame oversight.

All part of my "accidental" path to becoming a teacher, I guess.

But, I do know our wedding anniversary.  My wife's birthday.  And my kid's.  They're all important days to me.  I've never forgotten any of them.

I also usually know the start and end dates of the school year long before the school year's begun.

And, I'll sometimes have a deadline or two in mind, too.  For whatever it's worth, these days, I do tend to hit my deadlines a little bit early whenever I can.

To be fair, I should add: Google calendar helps me a lot with all this.

But, along with all these important dates, there's one other that I've got stored away in the corner of my mind.  March 1, 2020.  And every year about this time I get a wonderful reminder of it... in the mail from the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS).  According to the mailing, on that date... March 1, 2020... a date that's now officially a smidge less than a decade away... I will have earned my 80 points... 80 and 49 thousandths points to be precise... and, per ASRS, that means, by whatever arbitrary algorithm of odd calculations they're using to determine such things, on that day the great State of Arizona has determined I will become eligible for something they call Normal Retirement... which sounds a whole heckuva lot like plain ol' retirement!  Which, at 53 years of age, after mere 26.7 years in the game, ain't too shabby.

It's a Sunday.

I'm thinking, on Monday, March 2, 2020, I'll probably call-off...

21 September 2010

I didn't pump my tire.

Not as late-to-the-game with this little gem as I might have guessed.  With less than 5000 views since it was first posted in July, it's apparently taken a little time to gather steam.  My fellow bike-riding weather-wonker (yes, that's really what we call ourselves) Joe (Rockman) shared the link with me via the email earlier tonight.  And I, doing my due diligence, will now share it with you.

If you've been riding mountain bikes for a while, like say for the last 10 or 20 years, I think you'll think it's especially clever.  At 4:30, it's a bit longish; granted.  But give it a chance.  It's funny.  Smart.  Self-deprecating.  And surprisingly thorough.

16 September 2010

Riding in Whistler. In the summer! In the snow!

Linden, my super-cool sales-floor manager at the shop, along her husband Andy, our repair-shop manager, are taking a lengthy (and much deserved) hiatus from Arizona and visiting Whistler Mountain in British Columbia, Canadia, for a few weeks this month.  She's blogging about it some.  But, probably, knowing Linden and Andy, I'm gonna bet that they're way too busy riding (n-stuff) to do too much posting-online while they're away.

So, for the time being, we'll have to be content with this... Linden's helmet-cam footage of the Redbull 5000 Down race last Sunday... the first 13 minutes of it anyway (her camera died)... Ya gotta check it out!  Five-inches of summer-fresh pow.  500 flailing downhillers!  An endless streak of super-muddy trails.  Linden passing several armor-clad tough-guys.  Rain and more rain.  And your standard terrible heavy metal soundtrack to top it all off.  Heck yes!  That's just about as good as it gets!  I give it 5 stars.

15 September 2010

Riding in Borneo. Yeah. Borneo

My buddy Ben and his family are living and teaching in Borneo this year. To be unnecessarily specific, they're in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia.  Ben posted a few pictures on Flickr the other day of his group ride last weekend [GPS]. In a nutshell: they're insane... a trillion colors of green... weird murky streams... and some odd, too-narrow urban by-ways for good measure. Worth a look, if only because you're curious... and you know (let's be honest) you're never gonna ride there yourself.

12 September 2010

Craigslist ... Rock Lobster Resurrection Project begins

Paul Sadoff is awesome!  The Rock Lobster is back.  And it's repaired!  On to paint and, after that: rebuilding and riding!

In the course of things, I decided to have the bike shipped to the shop since there would be no one to receive it at home during the day during the week.  I knew the guys at the shop would take good care of it and gimme a call when it arrived.

They did.

But first they unboxed it and put it on Craigslist!


For Sale is a Rock Lobster mountain bike frame for 26 wheels. It has recently ben repaired, so there's no paint, but I swear it's a rock lobster! It has a lugged front tube and everywhere else it is welded with what appears to be bronze. It also has a little loop thing under the seat, I don't know what for. It also has backwards wheel slots so you can single speed it if yer tuff enuff. I'm selling it because I can't put disc brakes on it and v brakes suck. At $85 it won't last long so call today! No emails please, I don't know much about computers and it's taken me hours just to make this ad. 


Hahaha.

For the record: 85 bucks is a darn good deal.

04 September 2010

Stu-In-Flag dot net

I don't know Stuart.  But, as often happens in Flagstaff, I know people who know Stuart.

We're a one-degree-of-separation kind of town.

Stu has a blog.  It's about the weather.  I read it every day.  And I look at his weather instrument data everyday.  Stu's got way more toys to measure weather-stuff than I do.  And, from my perspective, he knows a heck of a lot more about the weather than I do, too.  I'm pretty wonky about weather.  But Stu makes me look pretty much clueless.

He's kinda become my hero.

But then, today, he posts up this pessimistic crap:

"So, where does that leave us for the winter? Sorry folks. As of the start of September, it appears this winter will be near climitological normals for temperature. Now, the global outlook is for a colder than normal winter. This may cause Northern Arizona to be colder than normal. I’m just not sure. I doubt it will be warmer. This cooling trend is being driven by a very weak solar cycle among other things.
"On the precipitation side, we will be dry. Probably very dry. December – February may see precipitation totals of less than 1.5 inches. I won’t be buying a season pass at Snowbowl."

To which I must say: WHATEVER, Stu!

What. Ever.

Might need to find me a new guru...