Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jerry Goes Hollywood

Some of my long term readers (4) will remember Jerry, the farting gnome, I purchased from ebay last year in preparation for Gnome Fest 6.

Jerry was a big hit, especially with kids and dogs (somehow he managed to not get "marked" by any of the fidos).

Jerry made the return trek to GF7 this year and, again, all was well. Here he is supervising night time camp set up.

Little did I know he had bigger plans...

The other day I was watching a new comedy on NBC called "Outsourced". Its about a young American manager of a novelty company that relocates to India to run their telephone sales/service center.

Its a comedy about America losing jobs...a comedy....losing jobs....a com-a-dee....

Anyway, I've almost made it all the way through this......"comedy".......when I spot him.

Boom! There's Jerry yucking it up on the TV..... and I thought he was still in the garage in a camping box.

I'm not sure how to feel about Jerry's "big break"...somehow I thought he could do better than a cameo in a "comedy" chocked full of un-funny racial stereotypes and job loss....a comedy....its a....comedy.

Oh well, at least he didn't totally sell out like his more well-traveled brother.

Friday, September 24, 2010

AM Poem Sheep

Not sure why I sometimes think of something-like poetry when I can't sleep. I don't know how to write good poems, but at this hour of the night who cares?


Words scrawled upon a page,

hazy thoughts, escape their cage.

Freed children, off to play.

Nothing to care, nothing to say.

Sleep, come and cover me;

stop this floating, lost at sea.

Reasons remain cruel and unclear,

dreams don’t live, at least not here.

Insomnia, an unwelcome friend;

you stay with me until the neverend.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Just Ride: Gnome Fest Unplugged

I have this fancy bike computer.

Perched atop my handlebars this digital scribe diligently records ride characteristics like distance, speed and elevation change by constantly bouncing signals off an array of satellites; its kinda miraculous really. It's the kind of amazing we blithely take for granted, like garage door openers and microwave popcorn.

Despite its wizard like ability to quantify your ride in detail you never thought possible (try downloading a track into Google Earth sometime) it is hopelessly inept at capturing the truly sublime; the soft clicking of a bike’s chain, the snapping of twigs under tires, the scurry of fuzzy things in the tangled underbrush.

If you remember to charge it, take it and turn it on it will surely provide a wealth of data but leave unmeasured the exclusive satisfaction that comes from cresting a tough climb or the adrenaline shot you earn from negotiating a spooky obstacle that is clearly bent on your destruction.

All these realizations came to me in a cascading catharsis as I gazed upon my lifeless, uncharged computer right before our first Gnome Fest ride. Last year I wrote up some pretty detailed, and overly dramatic, blog entries about the Gnome Fest, mostly based on information from my little gadget. I was trying to decide whether I was irked about it being dead when Nick said:

“It's just about riding and having fun, I didn’t even bring mine.”

He is as wise as his tent is waterproof, but he got this one exactly right.

Just ride.

We stopped in Decorah on the way up for some pre-gnome gnoming. The guys were a big help when I needed to change a tire.

Once we got to Levis Trow, in central Wisconsin, it was most assuredly ON.

Even great rock chasms were powerless to stop us.

Phil showing sometimes a guys gotta seem epic.

Flexing just seemed appropriate.

Matt examines his instructions and reports "Guys, it says here everything sounds funnier with a French accent."


Sidewinder gnomeyness

Spooky light

Follow the yellow brick road

It aint called Goat Dance 'cuz its flat.

Big - I mean HUGE - air.

Not wanting the festing to end, we rode the Human Powered Trails in LaCrosse on the way home. I highly recommend it.

More Gnomelishesness here. Page 3 of the thread for some of this year's pics.

Big props to Nick who took all these pictures as I ditched my camera too.

Fantastic time once again.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fall = Football

To the ancient Greeks autumn marks the return of Persephone to the Underworld and to Hades, her captor. Her mother Demeter, Goddess of Harvest, mourns her loss and the Earth is slowly frozen into barren sadness.

To scientists Fall is simply ushered in by the path of our celestial home as it races around the Sun, at 67,000 miles per hour, while tilted at a 23.5 degree angle.

To me the autumnal season is inaugurated by the return of football, glorious football.

Weber, God of the Tailgate, provides a mighty bounty for his faithful.
Bands play, crowds cheer, players compete, referees spontaneously lose both sight and cognitive function.

Hey, science has its place here too. The eggheads point out that, on the molecular level, football is the smashing together and pulling apart of carbon atoms with G forces greater than those found in a Space Shuttle launch or a fighter plane roll.

I fear attempting any further description of the spectacle that is football is pure folly. I leave it to Coach Lombardi to wrap us up.

"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."

You said it Coach. Now, let's play some football.