On January 6th I was trusted by the members of my Local to be their leader.
Which means the focus of work on this blog will change from some of my stagehand work to one of leadership. It also means I will be scaring myself with beginning to dress in a way that I feel represents both me and my Local. This is really a big change and one I’m nervous about but feel like I’m prepared to do.
So that’s my first suit.
Odd to write those words. In some ways I feel as if I have betrayed my family because they aren’t exactly the suit wearing type. Hell I recall my Dad dressing for a wedding in a pale blue shirt and some khakis. I didn’t learn to tie a tie until last year. It was not something that really mattered until recently.
Frankly I was tired of being just another shabby stagehand.
That was part of the scare myself that got me dressing better but I have never spent that amount of time in a suit. And I will say it was both nice and quite interesting because this is something I have never done.
First off the amount of pockets in a suit are great.
I am a huge fan of pockets and tend to use all the ones I have. The number of internal and external pockets in a suit are great. I had no problem carrying all the things I tend to carry. Also despite the suit being wool it seemed very light and required me to wear my overcoat when I was outside of the time I was outside in North Carolina.
Second changing only minor elements did cause a different look.
Different tie or shirt or even doing without either caused a different look. Hell the day I had to speak before the International Leadership I made sure to have the one that was most formal looking. That is not something I am used to with my other clothing where I need to have a whole variety of elements to change the basic look. Kind of refreshing and interesting. I recall reading about this on a site but didn’t fully take it in until in that situation.
Lastly the fact I felt more professional.
I mentioned to a friend that when I flew in wearing a blazer and slacks I was called Mr. Ponce at the airport while I hadn’t heard anyone else greeted in such a manner. Most were merely told to have a nice flight. Similar treatment on the way back.
Then there was better treatment at a few places I went. I tended to have breakfast or lunch at a little coffee shop near the hotel. After the first time they learned my name and asked me how my trip was going and what was going one. I realized later in the trip that they may have thought I was lawyer because the court house was near that place but that treatment as a professional was different from people nearly thinking I was homeless as I had in the past.
Yes I will continue going with this route.
First off I broke another spoke.
Once again I am getting tired of that little fun bit of biking.
Checked manual and tried to see if it might be me but so far I highly doubt it is the way I ride and it might be a weight thing but even with my bag I am below what my bike could take.
So I’m a bit annoyed by that but just a bit.
Yesterday I realized that I hadn’t gone for a ride all year and decided no time like the present to resolve that issue. Pulled out my bike, after a quick check of my tires and they seemed good and went for a ride.
Call me crazy or what have you but I headed North along 8th instead of South as I originally thought.
It was a clear day, by no means warm, but not rainy and figured why not muck about and I hadn’t been to Carkeek Park in quite so time so why not.
Thing I found was riding up hill in the cold is hard.
Real hard on my muscles as they tighten up as I rode. Stopped a bit after chucks to rub my legs but frankly it wasn’t too bad once I got going.
Still I thought sweating a bunch during summer was bad but the sudden charlie horse as I rode was more annoying than dripping sweat at my destination.
Which was a park.
A park where a hike leads to a railroad over pass and a beach.
But there was no rack so I didn’t lock up my bike.
Decided I should head to Chuck’s I did.
Despite living in Seattle a number of years I have not frequented Green Lake to even the extent that a weekend visitor has. Just not a big fan of the number of people but realizing this and the new year I figured why not head down and give a quick lap around the place.
After all why would people be out?
It is amazing how wrong I am as the walking path is crowded by people having similar thoughts to me. Deciding that a lap around the lake is a good thing to do on this the new year. Every few minutes I’d have to ring my bell as someone had drifted into the bike lane. And for once I didn’t care about seeming too arrogant of biker to signal these people.
People with dogs, or kids, or giant strollers. All going along the path and drifting without attention into the bike path. Little to no care in the world, not that I had much in all fairness because I was just out for a jaunt.
Still more than halfway around the Lake I decide I’ve had enough and head to another destination.
Over the last year I watched as the bridge counter filled.
During the last few weeks there was a but a sliver left before reaching the one million mark. So when I went over to get a picture and saw that it was empty had a bitter sweet tinge to it.
I had made a number of trips over that bridge and now they were erased.
Well 2015 I plan to make a few more, that is once my spoke is repaired… again.
Stupid spokes if it keeps up I am going to get something heavier duty done because the weight doesn’t bug me but having to constantly repair my spokes do.
Any way good ride and unfortunately it will be some time before I get another one.
When I left this morning drizzle and minor winds were the expectation.
Now if reality follows expectation that’d be a grand thing in deed.
Still I am fairly certain I rode during the summer solstice and now doing the winter had me reflecting on the differences in the year.
Over the summer I road in pants and a t shirt only to arrive a bit sweaty but not overly disheartened by the whole journey as I gained an increased farmer’s tan from the long hours of sunlight we experience in Seattle. Often going the opposite direction of traffic as I went to work as others headed home or riding in the 5 am twilight to a very early call with only a light cotton jacket against the predawn chill.
Glorious times to ride and the weather felt on my side.
While this morning was a bit warmer than expected I still left in gloves, a base layer, work shirt, wool coat, and scarf. Only a couple of bikes out and most on their way to the Fremont Market.
But the sun was out, the winds were blowing me side ways as they had last night and I go into today know that from here on out there will only be more sunlight as the new year begins.
As I waited for my call to begin I noticed a coworker had a helmet on his bag.
Previously he had asked me a few questions about biking in and also noted with our daily parking going up $5 a day looking for a way to save a bit of cash would be helpful. And to be honest not paying for parking is something I enjoy. Also the cost savings in gas and weight losing has been very nice.
Yeah I didn’t expect to enjoy biking as much as I do. Especially the last night rides through darkened quiet streets. Just me going along my way in a silent town. Quite the feeling especially on those long summer nights but right now in winter those moments do come much earlier and last longer but it will be nice to get a bit more light on the morning commute.
Earlier this week I had two days off.
A rare feat indeed at the Fabulous Fifth Ave but still they want me gone for two days I shall go for two days. This time no random puddle pump to Walla Squared to watch a set being taken down and stroll the closed up town on Easter day instead I head down to the place made famous as where young people go to retire.
And how to go but by train, of course.
Helps that I didn’t really want to drive and getting to King Street Station by bike is fairly easy and Portland is known as Bike Friendly and the weather wasn’t going to be too bad.
So I paid an extra 5 dollars each way and me and my bike took a vacation.
At some point I need to go back during summer and see what it is like there when there are loads more bikes around. Not just me and few people who decided biking during the Pacific Northwest Winter was a good idea. But it really wasn’t that bad.
Sure I got rained on.
Sure I got lost.
Sure I got a little drunk.
Sure I may have spent more than I expected.
But I had fun.
Also during the course of the trip I visited a friend’s grave and that gave some closure I might not have had otherwise. Now that was an experience as I took a long cab ride up a large hill and through some windy roads. Spending time in a graveyard as it poured rain and the wind buffeted me. Regretted not bringing a hat I will have you know. And then to Powell’s, some lunch, a bit more biking around, and then a quick drink, and a train home.
Back in Seattle there was a light rain coming down as I biked home from the station and as I approached my house I noticed the sound a metal clicking on something. Since my dirty close where in a side cage I put it a little out of my mind. But when I checked my rear wheel at home it seems I broke another spoke.
Which meant another trip to get it repaired.
And now I have that looming again. But if this wheel goes bad I hear recycled cycles does some guarantee on wheel builds so I’ll check it out.
I had difficulties sleeping this morning.
Around 4 am something woke me up and there I lay for a few hours until the desire for breakfast roused me out of my warm cocoon and into a cold kitchen for some eggs and bacon. Not my normal breakfast, mind you, but given I had a lot of time why not have something more difficult than yogurt.
As I sat down to eat NPR informed me tonight would be the 50th year A Charlie Brown Christmas has aired on network tv.
I stopped eating and began to remember my time with an ice show based on that cartoon.
And also my time at Knotts.
For three Decembers I ran an ice show that had deep inspiration from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.
In fact near the end there was a moment where everything stopped, Linus did his speech, low fog filled the stage, and a slow version of Silent Night played as skaters began a slow flowing routine.
Despite not being Christian this hit me right in the meaning of the season. And while I did find it overly religious I enjoyed this moment and felt it was staged well without being too beat you over the head religious .
My last Ice Show was my favorite. Not the show itself and probably saying that is wrong.
From October into February when I turn in my uniform and said adieu was my favorite time there.
That show wasn’t great and ended up being scrapped and the previous Ice Show brought back a year or two later but it was fun… or rather I had fun. Adding quotes to the back of flats, playing Guitar Hero off stage, pictures, slight pranks, and all around good times.
See I knew I was leaving.
I began looking for my way out after seeing my fourth friend get a 5 year certificate and with disbelief at the time spent there and where the years had passed they accepted it. Then with almost regret they would wear their 5 year name tag while looking for a way out. I didn’t want to be there. The job had been fun, the people some of the best I had met, but when I thought about my future I couldn’t imagine being one of the long time techs. Nor could I imagine moving over to production and being of the guys. My way out was to move to Seattle and either succeed or fail there.
Yet I remember that last winter as the most fun I had at work.
That load in was a pain in my ass and the supervisor I had didn’t make it any easier.
Also I’m sure he felt I was a pain in his ass. In fact I can be sure of that as we had a yelling match one day while I was at height in a lift working on a run light. He came in demanding I finish something that was done.
We yelled back and forth then he went to my manager to complain.
Which lead to a meeting where I explained what happened and ended it by asking if I was being disciplined. When my manager couldn’t confirm that decision I said I needed to get back to work and left.
Knotts was a fun place.
And that point in time was a fun time to work there.
I have some regrets but none I would go back and try to resolve.
Still when I hear Linus and Lucy I think back to those days and what fun I had driving a cart backwards through the park as everything was shutting down.
While the past week it warmed up in Seattle.
Then last night it snowed.
Not a whole lot because this is Seattle, after all, and but a few times when the city was shut down by a couple of inches.
Being rather stupid of snow I decided to bike in.
And it was cold.
But with my wool coat and base layer I was more or less ok. Yeah my feet were cold but I think they would have been regardless.
But I was wary of ice because it was quite cold out there. And as I crossed the Fremont bridge I was warned about there being ice on the approach.
Also the counter is but one tiny sliver away from one million crosses.
That’s a hell of think.
Unfortunately I failed at completing my coffeeneur rides.
It started fine with me picking Sunday and Monday to ride. Monday being my usual day off and then Sunday seemed to be a day off for a few weeks.
And then my job ruined that idea by swapping my day off for the past two weeks.
Prior to that I took a trip to Southern California and had a good ride.
That trip was a strange affair because it started as an excuse to take the Coast Starlight down to see my family, only so briefly, and then return just in time for work. The train journey being the real reason for the trip and the family visit an added bonus. Then a friend of mine was killed.
It is still difficult to come to grips with her death. It was sudden and while we hadn’t been close for a few years there was a time and we had been in touch off and on since I moved to Washington.
Also my trip coincided with her funeral and even the SoCal memorial I was going to miss. That was when I decided to see if anyone would come out for a drink and if not no shame because I am used to getting a drink by myself at an unknown bar.
It was a bright and clear day I set out. November 9th from my parents house in Long Beach to a bar in Buena Park. Warm but not hot and while I knew how to drive to this bar I didn’t know the bike path. Still these bike route signs existed, the route was mostly flat, and if worst came to worst I could always call my folks for a lift.
It’d be a great adventure.
I took the San Gabriel River Trail to the Coyote Creek Trail to Crescent through La Palma, Cypress, and then Buena Park. Nearly straight trip without any winding loops, hills to climb, or rivers to cross. Sure it’d be over 12 miles each way but that seemed ok.
First let me say that getting to the River Trail was a pain. The cars in Long Beach aren’t as accustomed to bikes as Seattle. Sure I have issues with drivers but I rarely have a driver look at me as they pull through a stop sign as I am also going an intersection. Also other bikers didn’t seem aware of what I meant as I said, “On your left” when I passed them. I would have rang a bell but my bother feels those are for hipsters.
Light bike lights.
Yet it was a peaceful ride. Flat enough to maintain a good speed without exhaustion. Warm enough to not require a jacket and yet cool enough I wasn’t sweating or needing to stop to refill my water. A good ride.
Along the way the sun began to set.
That was a good image of the setting sun on one side of the trail with the flurry of the freeway on the other and me in the center on a thing strip of asphalt riding a bike next to a river. Was a good time. Although I gauged my time wrong and before I knew it I arrived.
Sure I had gotten a touch lost and almost took a street that wasn’t as bike friendly as others.
I ducked back onto the trail and continued onward.
Then through some cul de sacs and onto Knott.
I stopped briefly to look at Knott’s Berry Farm, my former work place, and remembered some old times.
The sushi and here is where I failed my coffeeneur.
I didn’t get a coffee, nor tea, nor coffee porter at the bar.
So close but right there I missed out.
And a coffee porter would have been fabulous but with the limited micros at the bar it would have been asking a lot. Yet I stayed longer than I expected.
I have spent many an hour at the Tom Kat, drinking, laughing, making drunk remarks with the regulars, being talked into pitchers when I should only have a pint. It was good to go back even if the circumstances weren’t great but seeing some of the people I hadn’t seen between 2 and ten years was worth it.
Then hoping on the bike past midnight and heading back to my parents house.
I really enjoy riding late at night.
The empty roads losing some of the danger from cars. Quiet besides the sound of my bike. The night air going from warm to cool with a hint of salt from an ocean breeze. The horizon a sickly yellow from light pollution but the majority of the sky black and the moon.
Since much of my riding takes place at night I have found it to be meditative experience. Even if it meant finding what lights work for me and because I knew I’d have a night ride I made sure to bring my lights.
Which my family thought odd but they hadn’t almost crashed because of poor illumination.
Yet despite their chuckles as I checked the fit of my lights I knew it would help out come night and given some of the poorly lit streets around El Dorado Park it did help.
26.6 Miles round trip
Didn’t get tea, coffee, or similar so didn’t count.
No bike racks at either Joe’s sushi or the Tom Kat. I locked my bike to a fence and a sign post.
Despite lack of parking facilities the San Gabriel River Trail and the Coyote Creek Trail were excellent. Getting to them wasn’t bad and going along Crescent was ok except when I hit the odd cul de sacs that required some side walk finesse.
Best of all I got to see old friends. Not how I would have liked to but still.