29 June 2011

They seem like they're really in love [UPDATED]

A pair of nesting swallows have been at our front door since the day we moved in.  Sweet but remarkably messy birds, they're quiet and adorable when they're on the nest.  One sits almost all the time, while the other's out doing birdish things during the day.  But they both return each night. To sit side-by-side and encourage one another with gentle nudges and soft words.  One presumes.

It's no fun, having a pile of bird poop, feathers, and nest-detritus next to your front door.  It's unsightly.  But having two nesting birds there to meet you and your six-year-old as you walk out of the house each morning is truly priceless.

Today: eggshells on the doormat among the other jetsam.  And two very fresh, new baby swallows in the nest.

Update 07 July 2011: Counting beaks we have determined there have been as many as four hatchlings in the nest.  However, there have now likewise been two known fatalities at our front door. Both accidental, one presumes.  In each case, falling from the nest would seem the most likely cause of death.  It is a cruel world.  Even baby birds cannot escape this fact.

28 June 2011

What the office desk hath revealed

Generally, we're feeling pretty settled in our new place. Still, we wake up most mornings feeling like we've rented this house for summer vacation.

Not a bad way to live.

Got some new web-writing-work recently. Really just started working on it today. Rather excited about it.  Bikes. Words. Working with old friends.  Good stuff.

So, I'm at my home-office desk working this afternoon, mostly just sussing out a new content management system. In need of a pen. Desk drawer is all a-jumble from being moved. Searching, searching, searching... for a pen... There's one! But after a good shaking and a trip across town, it turns out the office desk yields forth even greater treasure than mere implements used for writing. 

What hath the office desk revealed?

Only the truth. Which is: even redacted, I am such a dork. And have been for many, many years.

Maybe Probably always.

24 June 2011

A thing difficult to explain

One of the many things I like about riding with Ken is that he tends to look around while he rides.  A lot of people who ride mountain bikes just ride, always looking at the trail in front of them.  And I think that's okay.  But it's also nice to have a look around now and then, too.  Stop and smell the flowers.  Stuff like that.

Some time ago, while we were out riding together, Ken pointed out a curiosity to me alongside a trail folks around here have always called The Onceler (now officially a part of the Arizona Trail).  Just for fun, I stopped to have a closer look at it on my morning ride today. It's little more than an old stump and a couple boulders at first glance.  But look a little closer and it becomes difficult to explain this feature.  How did those two large boulders end up on top of that big old stump?

Best I can come up with, short of, "Someone put them there, duh!" which seems unlikely, is that they long ago rolled down the hill together and got wedged into the old stump by chance.  But even that explanation seems unlikely, as they would have had to both sorta jump up onto the stump together in order to get wedged in there as a pair.  The mystery-feature is in a steep-sided, minor drainage.  So, I suppose it's possible that at some point there was some kind of major stream flow that raged down it long, long ago. Possible but, again, not very likely, as there are really no other signs of such a catastrophe in the area.  At this point in history, the drainage appears quite minor, carrying a bit of snow-melt runoff in season, but that's about it.

Not the greatest mystery in the world.  But a fun one to ponder.  Frankly, I'm stymied.  I really can't explain it.  At all.

Got a good guess?  Do share.

21 June 2011

Wherein I began to coast. Or: The Tuesday Morning Walk

Done broke down
Promised myself I wasn't going to blog about today's Tuesday Morning Ride. I always seem to end up blogging about the Tuesday Morning Ride... year after year.  And this year, even though I was super-stoked to finally get out on a Tuesday Morning Ride (We were moving out of our old house last week), on my new bike too-boot, I at least wanted to wait a few weeks before putting words to what's become my requisite TMR blog-post.

But then, low-and-behold, I had a mechanical this morning on the burnt-up-but-still-fun Little Bear trail. A mechanical of the unfixable variety: a broken break-away derailleur-hanger bolt... With no replacement bolt to be found among us, despite the fact that the three of us were on nearly identical Epic 29ers, the unfixable mechanical subsequently led to a broken chain when I tried to jury-rig the drivetrain as a singlespeed... Not something you can do with a full-suspension bike, I guess.

Now chainless and derailleur-less, I was compelled to abandon my friends and hike back up to the top of Mount Elden along the trail I'd just ridden down, rather than continue to ride down the trail and then have to hike up Elden Spring trail and a billion ups-and-downs on Schultz Creek trail... The better choice? Flip-of-a-coin, probably. Upon reaching the saddle-ridge after a 20 minute walk, I began to coast and walk and coast for miles and miles, first down Red Onion and then down the Elden Lookout Road, in order to get home... home to my new home, natch, which, it just so happens, is now conveniently located near the bottom of said-road.

And, well, after all that, plus a fine picture of the incident by Chris, I felt like I had something to write about.

17 June 2011

Photographic evidence

I was 29, in the fall of 1996, when I moved into the townhouse on Arroyo Seco Dr.

And I was 44 when I moved out in the summer of 2011.

Photographic evidence would seem to indicate that my grandmother (now 95) and my (then soon-to-be) wife were present on both occasions. Evidence also indicates that my haircuts and fashion sense have improved but a little if at all in the meantime.

On this obviously memorable occasion I am inclined to forego nostalgia and flowery talk about days-gone-by.

Suffice to say: it was a fine little house, generally filled with love and happiness, within which we truly became a Family. It was good to us in that it kept us warm and safe and dry, as all good houses should.

We hope the same will be true for its new inhabitants.

03 June 2011

Sending The Sightlings

Tonight is the premiere of my friend Lyle's new art show, Sending The Sightlingsat the La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles.  I'm a big fan of Lyle's work, and I think the stuff he's created for his latest show is especially stunning and cool.  And, I swear, I'd say that ever if he weren't one of my besties!  Take, for example, the title piece: it's is truly epic.  Watch the video to get a sense of it.

If you're in L.A. I envy your opportunity to get over to La Luz to check the show out in person.  Otherwise, if you're like me, stuck working in Whoville, you'll just have to admire it online.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey