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Showing posts from March, 2004

Passion of the Sliced: VisonKwest 4.0

VisionKwest 4.0: "Passion of the Sliced"
Joshua Tree National Park
3/27/04
31 miles

LEFT-OVERTURE

The Fourth Annual VisionKwest Invitational was held this past Saturday, Mar 27 at Joshua Tree. This annual 31 mile run across the rugged, stony landscape of the unique environment had many rewards and surprises for all the participants.

The VisionKwest appeared as simultaneous revelation to the two unindicted co-originators, Casino Bingo and Draw Poker in 1999. The then-upcoming Millenium was stimuli to deep thinking on the subject. After consulting sacred texts [Morrison:1967, Page & Plant:1971], and channelling bardic entities, the VisionKwest was born.

The course has had many starts, and several finishes, usually a dusty matte. The main route has always involved The California Riding and Hiking Trail. Play your cards right, and there will never be enough shade. There is no freely occurring water on the course.

The rewards for this run vary from year to year, but are consistently …

Grab A Cadaver

A satiric comment on the current body-part scandal at UCLA.

Grab A Cadaver
[with no apologies to the Steve Miller Band]

I heat up, I can't cool down
You got me chopping
'round and 'round
'round and 'round, and 'round it goes
At UCLA, with these donated bones

Every time I get the call,
I pack my bag, I'm roaming the halls
Bodies donated--to science and more,
There's green to be had--deep in the gore!

Grab a Cadaver
I wanna reach out and slab ya
Slab-a Grab a Cadaver
Grab a Cadaver

I drive on campus, a monkey paw
Sack of tools, a power saw
Dead people wait to feel my love
I get a grip with a rubber glove.

Grab a Cadaver
I wanna reach out and slab ya
Slab-a Grab a Cadaver
Grab a Cadaver

I start work, I make a mess
I hate working under duress
Muscle and tendon, gristle and bone
Get paid by the piece by working alone

There's magic and romance in those eyes
Each one of them goin--to different guys
What the hell! the heart is blue
Buy the whole set and the liver goes too!

Grab a Cadaver
I…

Tipping mountain bikers

Dearest Phillip S:

On the subject of manners and mannerisms I will endeavour to elucidate the answer least appropriate to the strictures of time, space and convention.

The Valley Forge trail is not popular with mountain bikers, which limits recreational tipping opportunities for the trail runner. There is something inherently satisfying about the sound of the wind in the trees, birds and squirrels having running feuds, and the fading shrieks of a mountain-biker going over the side of a trail after they've tried to run you down. It's times like these when I feel very close to Nature.How much does one tip mountain bikers? 15%, 20%? Or does one try to tip them all?

The percentages refer to the leading-edge velocity [analogous to a helo-rotor] of a Powerbar, rattan cane, or 15" Braunschweiger sausage at the maximum hitting point. Top speeds vary from 125mp to 600mph. Therefore even 15% of either of these speeds striking a witless MTB'er will cause a trajectory dislocation. I…

A Seasonal Prelude to Probable Magnificence

A Seasonal Prelude to Probable Magnificence
DATELINE: LOS ANGELES
2004

While 22,000 Road Gerbils were getting their multi-figured money's worth out of the XIX Bill Burkathon here in the Great Satan By The Sea, I was a wee scampering Karma Squirrel skittering over the bosky flanks of Mt Wilson Phillips. Alone. Nearly naked. Cougar bait. And nary a Barking Duck [Torrence, Bingo, 1999] in sight.

I have raised my sights to being a Sunday ultra-trail pest this summer. Not that I'm interesting in running ultras, but tagging along as a whoopie-cushion while others are training strikes me as worthy. It's like watching a slo-mo circus train wreck, where clowns are ejected from overturned box-cars, only with dorky hats and hairy butts. But I get ahead of myself.

The weather had shifted from winter to spring in a few short days. Last week's chill and damp had given way to festive tendrils of happily buzzing flies, outriders to the hordes that will rise up and greet the rosy-fingered d…