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It Snowed

November 29, 2014 Leave a comment

While the past week it warmed up in Seattle.
Then last night it snowed.

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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.

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Categories: Bicycle Adventures Tags: , ,

Not so Coffeeneur number 5

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment

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.

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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.

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Lovely sunset on side and the freeway on the other.

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.

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I enjoyed watching my progress a quarter mile at a time

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.

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Looking Good

November 2, 2014 Leave a comment

Over this weekend, normal people weekend not a weekend for me, I had a few folks remark on my look.
Began when I went to a show at the Rep.
Now understand I had already worked a full day.
A full day in a warehouse.
A full chilly, uneventful, day assembling a lighitng package in Kent, Washington.
You know the kind of thing you dream about as a child.
Still it working is better than not and while the work was a dull undertaking at least the company was good.

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This all occurred Thursday and that evening I went to see a show called the Vaudevillains at the Seattle Rep. So here is where I did something a bit out the norm for many technical theatre people. I dressed up.
Here is where I could put a long winded critique of Seattle dress, or how people attend the theatre in general. Thing is this type of thing really reads as exclusionary when theatres need their audiences and while I would like others to dress for them just attending is enough. So while I would prefer people to dress better just solving the problem of getting people in the door is a bigger issue.

Any way as a friend let me into the theatre, a perk of working in the industry, she said I looked “dapper”.
Well it was what I had been going for so good on me.
Good show, of what I could hear, and wish it ran longer but that is neither here nor there. Glad I got to see it.

That night my cat and I visited the all night vet.
I don’t really want to say more than she is recovering and I had a rough night.
The next warehouse day wasn’t so good but could have been a lot worse.

On Saturday I helped out at Seattle Children’s Theatre.
I used to be on staff there and still have a few friends and helped out the best I could.
Mostly I worked on the grid doing what I will be doing on Monday.
Letting in circuits.
Yet while on a break I saw a stage manager I hadn’t seen in a while. We joked for a bit and I was leaving she says, “You look good.”
Not sure how to take this I tell her, “This isn’t for you, for me but not for you.” And I slap my butt. Everyone laughs.
Thing is I didn’t know how to accept that compliment.

Today was a restore day at the Fabulous Fifth Ave and I came ready to work.
Yet by the end of the day a fellow worker I have known almost my entire time in Seattle also tells me I am looking good. More shocked than anything this compliment coming from a straight male coworker I have less idea how to take it.

Now I don’t claim to be very attractive.
In fact for much of my life I cared little about my looks and may have even gone to lengths to show that.
Being unhappy with one’s physical appearance can do that to a person.
I never quite looked the way I thought I should believed I did.
Partially deluded and with a low self image I escaped that by any means I could.
I have many examples of odd things I did to escape some basic ridicule by not quite fitting a mold. But really I remember that for a part of my most awkward, challenging years, the only people that told me I looked good were older gay men.
Now before ideas get hatched nothing happened.
Just so happened living in Long Beach one can run into these gents and for whatever reason I would get the occasional compliment.
Not cat called, or overly close conversation, just a random sort of thing.
And looking back that helped in some fashion.

So now as I receive more and more compliments about my dress sense or looks I have little idea how to take that but with a glib remark, if dressed poorly, or a thankful response, if dressed well.

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