moderate speed, minimal traction December 3, 2007Posted by doug in bikes, important developments.
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i always thought that new jersey looked kind of like the profile of a man donning a cap. a mailman, perhaps. i don’t think i’ve ever mentioned that to anyone else, and i don’t know if it’s a common perception or not, but on thursday i rode my bike across the better part of his shoulder. i stayed the
course of justice and persevered where others had succumbed to the elements. my 30-mile effort was rewarded with a rock n’ roll show, as well as some cold drinks with warm friends.
i’ve also been thinking about riding to brooklyn, but i don’t know if it’s feasible. clearly i can’t ride through the manhattan-bound tunnels, but maybe i can take staten island and the verrazano bridge. realistically though, i probably won’t. i’ve gone soft after two weeks of digital cable and limitless snack food. these days, my only exercise takes the form of brief jedi training sessions whenever i can’t reach a distant remote control. hopefully california will help relieve the phantom weight on this mailman’s shoulder.
another man’s treasure July 27, 2007Posted by doug in bikes, important developments.
i rode my bike to poland, thus amounting to one check on my list and 10+ hours of uninterrupted REM sleep.
i discovered that poland looks not unlike how i imagine the american mid-west looks, though i have no basis for this.
also, i’ve taken to decorating my room with garbage. not total refuse, mind you, but cinderblocks, scrap wood and other soild objects i find on the side of streets or in relatively tidy dumpsters. i’ve been using them to build shelves and other various structures on which to pile things and/or hang things from. i’ve deemed it a valuable pursuit for a number of reasons, including the facts that it’s inexpensive; instills a sense of pride in my ingenuity and craftsmanship sorely lacking from impersonal ikea purchases; minimizes the amount of random crap on the streets; and offers a more effective utilization of room space, with less untended piles of clothes in the corners.
it also makes me think about most conventional items in different terms. almost every solid object i see can be pragmatically used somehow. that random wire in this girl’s kitchen wastebasket can be strung between walls and used to hang clothes. that derelict drawer on cuvrystrasse can easily act as a shelf when propped between the steel supports i found outside of dr pong. my abode is starting to take shape, and it’s strangely comforting to know that i discovered the bulk of it while wandering unfamiliar streets.
and in a strange way, it echoes germany’s recycling policy. in berlin, you get actual money for turning in the used bottles that litter most urban environments. far more than the emblematic gesture in the states, you get sizable cash rewards at most stores for returning them. so, to the industrious scavenger, a couple abandoned beer bottles in the park equals a fresh new beer, and a trashcan filled with them is food for a week. as a result, the derelict gets drunk and/or fed, public spaces gets clean and the environment gets saved. everybody wins in germany.