Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Overnite to West Fork

Seeing as I desperately needed it, and knowing this for several months prior, I took a fast-pack overnite camping trip out of Chantry to West Fork CG. The route is Chantry--->Mt Wilson-->Kenyon Devore Trail to West Fork.

Started late around 11am. Made top of Mt W in leisurely time by 130-2pm. Saw a few day hikers primarily on the south-faces. Once over the top of the Mt Wilson parking lot, nada. Dropped down K-D Trail [empty] for 3 mi. Right turn to West Fork CG, made it sometime just before 4pm. Nobody was there.

Saw that fires were OK there, and got to thinking. Gathered wood, got out my magnesium fire-starting bar that I've carried for years and decided to use it. Shaved some off the bar w/ my knife onto tinder. Not quite. Reshaved several grams into a cupped leaf, added teeny micro twigs. Struck as spark from the spark bar on the other side--whoosh! fire!! Did the log-cabin layup with incrementally larger kindling, happy-happy fire.

Made dinner in the gathering night. Watched caveman TV [the fire] for several hours. Was asleep by 730. Woke up a couple of times in the nite by nite critters, the last time at 0345. Went back to sleep until 0620.

After a brewup and hot oatmeal breakfast, was gone by 0745. Now it was up the dirt road to Newcomb's Saddle, down Santa Anita Cyn thru Sturtevant, then out to Chantry.

All said and done, 20mi r/t. It was good to get out. The joke is that you will only carry slightly more for 2-4 days as you would for 1 nite, so next time I'll go longer. Now is the perfect time to get out into the local mts, as everyone is elsewhere indoors--either carbo-loading or debt stacking.

And it all looked really good when I found myself back in town on Friday afternoon to a host of annoyances that wouldn't resolve until 10 days later. But the seed was planted.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Too Have Touched The Screen

As Americans went to the polls today, they decided any number of important issues.

Here in Los Angeles, known affectionately as the Great Satan, and a known writer's retreat for visiting ecclesiastic dignitaries, I too voted.

I voted for:

THE SUPERMODEL HABITAT RESTORATION ACT OF 2006-
This would restore thousands of square somethings so that supermodels could visit day-spas and low-fizz water bars untrammelled by reality. Funding to come from retail sales of OxyContin and free-range sulfur.

I voted against:

THE RUSH LIMBAUGH ENCINO VENENOSA EXPERIMENTAL FOREST PRESERVE-
Which would have set aside at least 50,000 acres of pristine near-vertical wild-lands to nurture the most pervasive Southern California flora, but somehow tragically misunderstood. Estimated costs: $50b. Would exceed previously earmarked funds from sales of OxyContin and Viagra, along with off-shore Dominican Republic Hedge and shrub funds.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tainted [Oak] Trail Love

Father’s Day dawned with not a clue of what was to transpire. The Original Plan was to drive up into the mountains, and extract a meaningful run from the trails. And thus I would honor the Billions of Unborn that had sprung from my loins into the aether.

However, Fate intervened. CalTrans had closed Highway 2 just above the sleeping and complacent exurb of La Pinata. A blinking sign notified the hordes of suicidal rice-rocketeers that there was a brush fire in progress, so kindly go elsewhere. But as not to discriminate, this aviso was extended to the general public as well.

I put the Squirrel into a 180-drift, and lost only one of the 40” spinnies I’d put on last week, and continued down to the Windsor/Arroyo parking lot. I wedged in amongst all the agitated Velo-Bobs, and began my Final Preparations.

And so were they, anticipating a crankin’ drive up to Mt Wilson-Phillips, and then to hurl themselves off the top from Red Box, and like be ragin’and shit down through Switzer’s Camp, and then down the Arroyo. I was not one to shatter their young eggshell minds on dawn’s highway with any bad news.

Proceeding up the Arroyo was a bucolic ramble up the well-worn trail. My shoes had not gotten wet more than four times. Just before Oakwilde the trail was a complete washout, and I freestyled up the streambed until the trail came back into view.

At Oakwilde there are two choices—continue up to Switzer’s Camp, or take the shortened uphill Ken Burton Trail to the Brown Mountain Road.

The taste of adventure and enchanting madness calls. Cross the stream, and marvel at the cool gray rocks and stream, as yet untainted by fat Velo-Bobs hurtling down the trail from Red Box on their one-way sprint to Altadena.

The first clue that this outing was going to be different was that 50 vertical feet of trail were washed out. So far, so good. The bugs were happy to see me, and tried to tell me what delights awaited.

The first Poison Oak Tunnel was a fun transit of about 10'. On my hands and knees, scooting through an emerald green canopy, I saw the world from a feral pig’s point of view. Reaching a clearing and standing up, I was congratulating myself for getting through without getting swiped.

Almost. I realized my fannypack and waist bottles had gotten the Green Touch. Shit! Rolling the dice here, I grubbed up a handful of trail dirt, rubbed into the nipples, then squirted water to rinse. Hopefully, goodbye poison oak. I began my wait.

Climbing up the Ken Burton, I was blessed with a view of the Angeles Crest that was completely devoid of the hornet-whine of motorcyclists. And also the wail of ambulances, and whumpa-whumpa of medevac choppers hauling the living remains down to Huntington General in the San Gabriel Valley. Tucked into the browning hillsides was the ash-grey wedge remains of a brush fire, looking for all the world like a carbonized pubic thatch.

I thrashed through overgrown weeds and shrubbery, feeling smug that Mr Poison Oak was a receding memory. Not so fast, Little Squirrel! Here, not even a short quarter mile from the junction of the Brown Mt Road, was a veritable grove of the Oak! Shiny, green, and waving sinuously in the breeze. I paused, and pondered my next move.

Facing the inevitable, I plowed forward--no escape. The Oak swished my narrow ass from all sides—from ankles to elbows.

Grim-faced and on the clock, I made the trail junction. Every move now has to be calculated on the basis that the Oak Is Everywhere. You want to take a leak? Touching it with what? Think about it.

Then I remembered a solution. I saw drifts of pulverized dirt in the ruts from run-off. Scooping up double handfuls, I poured it on my shorts and legs, as much as I could cover. I’d read that this would draw off the oils. Now was the time to find out.

Now I'm running down the road, getting lots of strange looks and periodic comments from uphill Sunday cyclists. I was the original Mud Man. Fine. I wasn’t going to have The Oak camp out on my Dick.

The further I got down towards the trailhead, the larger and tidier the hiking groups. I’m sure many decided after seeing my dirtballed self, replete in mud-colored socks, where the elastic had finally collapsed entirely, that the whole REI Outdoors Experience was a scam. But hey! You’re the ones with the lizard-stabbin’ Leki poles, not me.

The Squirrel was waiting for me. Planning my moves to minimize Oak Transmission, I unlock, extract the shower, and start to peel out of tainted skankwear. The scrubdown commences, going over the whole mess twice. And then, changing into fresh duds, with all nastiness quarantined in grocery bags, I go off to the Green & White Satan in La Piñata to read the NY Times in translation.

That was 3 days ago. I only have 2 small dots of the Oak. None on pie-hole or Love-Gun. I’m eternally grateful to the local Grizzly Adams who gifted anyone who bothered to read the article with info on dealing with the Oak.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Dinner Is Served, Mr Rat.

Last week I decided I'd heard enough from the Rat RaceTrack above my head. Too much frolicking and fun at the expense of a night's sleep. It was unlikely that in the New Regime, the new owners were likely to call Western Exterminator anytime soon. It was time to take action.

After work I went to Anawalt Hardware, and followed the well-beaten path to the Rat Department. Hoisting myself up out of the groove in the concrete, I studied my options.

I was amused at the array of rat devices on sale. There were various kinds of rat-traps, rat poisons, rat catch-devices, rat condos, and rat sonic annoyers that you can plug into the wall sockets. Before I made my final choice, I had to check them out. One was a metal tubular tunnel that presumed Mr or Mrs Dim Rat was going to stroll in, and then stay in, while a light went off outside. You could then take the tunnel, and humanely turn the affected rodent loose somewhere else, probably after making it promise to sin no more. A simpler version was a card the size of a 5x7 postcard, with glue on it, that the rat would presumably stroll onto, and await you. The Sonic Annoyer broadcasts a frequency that is sure to piss off a rat. I'm certain its the identical frequency that makes Kenny G a favorite. All these were well and good if you wanted to make a lifetime project out of faith and redemption.

My aims were darker. I wanted to be the Dr Mengele of Rodentia; mice to the left, rats to the right. I chose a box of Rat Cuisine, in four convenient servings, and left.

Back home, I suited up with long sleeves, respirator, and rubber gloves before climbing the ladder up to the Hantavirus Speedway. Easing aside the trapdoor, my flashlight surveyed a gloomy rodent funzone, black as night. It was a landscape littered with sprung rat-traps, rat turds, one ancient dessicated mouse carcass that look like it took a direct hit from a Sidewinder missile...but no rat carcasses. Evidently the rats had sprung the traps as an after dinner amusement. I was likewise amused.

I could hear the voice of the vanished Western Exterminator guy, counselling as to why you wanted traps instead of poison. Oh yes, they are going to eat this stuff, and go die somewhere. With traps you can retrieve their little bodies and so forth. That presumes the rat takes a complete head shot, and doesn't stagger off somewhere to Rejoin His Maker. In any event, the constant updraft from basement vent to attic assures a steady mummifying environment, in the event a PETA-fied Howard Carter were ever to discover their remains.

Channelling my Inner Carl, I opened 2 boxes of fresh, turquoise-colored Rat Cuisine for my li'l friends. One, in plain sight. The other, tucked behind a beam, so the rodents who wanted to have seconds wouldn't have to be seen and sneered at by their peers for evident gluttony. I took the other two downstairs into the half-basement. One under a heating duct, the other behind abandoned tubing and ducting on the ground just out of sight at eye-level.

Bon Apetit, you little fuckers.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mother's Day Bonkfest

It all seemed so klar, Herr Komissar.

Sitting under Dwarf Bo Tree in the famed Corral Canyon parking lot under the late noonday sun, the shade was just enough to lower my core temperature down to brown dwarf levels. From there it was just the canonical 4.2 miles back to the Squirrel, a partial afternoon of temporized frolic in the Santa Monicas. But that was yet to come.

Earlier that morning, I was a mere portent of a Jung Mandala. I was heading up the Pacific Coast Highway, where coastal fog gripped Malibu like Aimee Mann's implacably hostile indifferent lyrics. Once up Latigo Canyon, all was a crystalline harshness that promised a fine hot day. So much for the love of a blonde.

Sunday was the Season's First Hot Training Run of the Rest Of Your Life. We've all been here before, and every year it gets flushed away. Hence, the joy of rediscovery. If gamma rays are subatomic iron molecules boring holes in your corpus delicti, then photons are their dilettante cousins, leaving only boiled basal cells in their wake.

Things were pretty quiet on the Backbone Trail from Latigo Cyn east to Corral Canyon. A few hikers out cool-chillin' while the sun is still somewhat moderated. Now turn left and go up the fire road up to Castro Peak. The sun is at your back, and is real happy to see you. Fortunately the breeze is sending bugs elsewhere, probably a Mother's Day chubby-chow brunch.

Dropping down the Bulldog Rd towards Malibu Creek State Park starts the first sightings of Velo-Bobs working their granny gears and Gumby Pursuits in slo-mo. Sweat pours off these hapless few: they are happy campers, this is normal.

But all this pales to the Work I Set Before Me.

I was pondering my own Da Vinci Code, the one that posits that a cryptic musical phrase played on an Ocarina encapsulates the Mystery Of The Age. This was also sharing neurons with my extended meditations on The SuperModel WayStation (a 501.3 [c] entity), tucked up enchanting Escondildo Canyon north of Malibu. Few facilities on the planet are so well-endowed to cope with tragically burned-out supermodels; to help them regain equilibrium in this world, and to enable them to make their own burritos! This amazing facility is funded through the generosity of the Carter-Wallace Foundation, in addition to specific earmarks provided by enlightened Republican Congressmen in less-salubrious climes. Gawd Bless them all.

I continued my ponderings. I was reaching the apogee of my terrestial orbit, glancing off the main parking lot at the park entrance. Trekking poles and zip-off pants were not in strong evidence, whereas triple-wide off-road strollers were. Some were fitted with aftermarket keg and boombox holders.

Turning rightwards up to the group camp, and camelling up at the tap before the last 11 miles back to the start, I savored the salt that wanted to pickle my eyeballs. Now humping and bumping south through Tapia Park, past a California Boy's Prison, then on a short stretch on the blacktop over Malibu Creek with cars hurtling past on their way to the beach.

All pleasures must come to an end, and I abandoned the petro-carbon Scenic Route to subject myself to the tender mercies of the Backbone Trail, westbound.

Oh joy! Somewhere on that climb my most favorite hip flexors decided that I was having too much fun, which made for some fine walking. And since neither Ian Torrence or a White Rhino were to be seen, I was safe.

Midday in the Santa Monica Mountains is a quiet time. There is no water for large stretches of the range, which thins crowds a lot. In this section, there is water at Tapia Park, and that's it between Trippet Ranch and Circle X Ranch if memory serves correctly. Fortunately, I had bloated up and out at the campgrounds in Malibu, before waddling off. Now I was starting to look for shade.

As it was early in the season, we are still soft-shelled crabs, and the sun was only beginning to beat down. Even in a standing pose, I was exposing 10% of my available self to the sun, and I was not gaining. Shuffling up and over the 3 main humps from the 3 way junction where the Pepperdine/Puerco Cyn and Backbone trails all meet up was just good clean fun. I saw the raised sandstone fins of the Backbone just east of Corral Canyon. I also began to look for opportunistic things like GU packages, forgotten bottles, and what the hell, fresh grapes like I found on Mt Wilson a month ago. No such luck.

Which brings me back to the Dwarf Bo Tree in the Corral Canyon parking lot. My slice of paradise that afternoon was the creosoted timber I was sitting on in the limited shade. A breeze lightened my burden of flies. A young Velo-Bob joined me. He was starting to get used to the differences between SoCal and his late-departed New Hampshire. We batted this and other topics around for a pleasant interval. I would've loved to brew up a billy of tea.

Then it was time to go. Standing up was creaky, with the fleeting memory of the date-expired GU and an even earlier ClifBar fading fast. Things seemed to have realigned themselves, and I was able to shuffle with competence.

The last mile to Latigo Cyn is a steep canyon drop and climb out. I passed 2 fresh-looking people who said they were marking the trail for a horse event the next weekend. OK. In that last section I passed over 20 ribbons fluttering from trees and bushes. All in a section where there are no junctions or forks. I suppose on horseback, you would see ribbons every 3 seconds. And if you or your horse were A.D.D, that could be a good thing.

Bone Regards,
Mr Trail Safety

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Languid Early-Season Overtures To An Indifferent Muse

My life is complete--I'd put the 40" spinner rims and rear-deck deflector on the Squirrel. The mountains beckoned.
This story begins in a desultory manner.
It was a cold and dreary night, Heather Locklear was on the sofa eating bon-bons, pining somewhat over the priapic departure of one Richie Sombrero, when suddenly...a shot rang out! She shivered as the flimsy peignoir slipped provocatively down, revealing what to my wondering eyes! but a copy of Dr Geo Sheehan's "Running for Dummies". Oh. My. God. There it was--the oft-thumbed chapter on What To Do After Boston.
People often ask me about my training methods. My answers are Delphic in their delineations. Here is an instance.

Last weekend, Dr Casino Bingo and I did a Circuita Minora, a Mini-Me Transect if you will, a diet-slice portion of the San Gabriels. After duly fortified by a Grade-B Breakfast, we made it to the Trail Head at Clear Creek, the crossroads where the Angeles Forest Hwy crosses Highway 2. The winds were probably 4 on the Beaufort, with a following SW swell 12' crests on 10 second intervals. Visibility was down to 2 miles. Anything lighter than a Lindsay Lohan was in danger of being blown away.


We began up the trail in a manly manner. The cloud deck was above us, perhaps at 4000'. We ignored the ominous portents, because it made better copy. We passed the abandoned remains of Adventure Racing support crews whose hiking poles had snapped under the harsh glare of kleig lights.


Eschewing the murmured temptations of the Old In-Out-Outback of Josephine Peak, we decisively struck out for Strawberry Peak. There was nobody to challenge us, and our Splits Were Good. We had gotten a full 2-1/2 miles before the Lisa Loeb Inflatable Conversation Doll had come out and made its rounds. In penance we observed 10 full seconds of silence.


As we rounded up and over towards the Ransom Of Red Box the weather became noticeably chillier. We couldn't help but become more like Katy Couricesque in our perkiness. We made Switzer's Camp in a brisk time, seeing only .43 of the normal scrum which were huddled around smoky BBQ grills waiting for summer.


A mile later, after an unroped 4.9 section of vintage mid-century asphalt and New-Jack Scree, there it was. And I’m standing at the crossroads, believe I’m sinking down.


Bone Regards, Mr Trail Safety
"Tanned, rested and ready from his Secure, Undisclosed Location"

Listen up! This message is being sent by or on behalf of Mr Trail Safety. It is intended exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed, excluding non-specific incarnations and bardo-state entities. It contains concepts that will challenge you. You may adjust. Insofas as this communication may contain information that is proprietary, privileged or confidential or otherwise legally exempt from disclosure, it is certain to cause cerebral flatulence and conceptual infarctions among the simple-minded and comedy-challenged, perhaps You. If you are not the named addressee, you are not authorized to read, print, retain, copy or disseminate this message or any part of it; including channelling the aforementioned fabulisms to spirit-bodies, Taiwanese Dream-Catchers, Heritage Barbie Dolls or Dale Earnhardt Collector plates. But go ahead, live dangerously, drive left-of-center and give it your best shot. If you have received this message in error, you deserve it--you'll have subsequent incarnations to work out the kinks. Or simply prostrate yourself in front of your Thos. Kinkade Heritage Reproduction while making a Burnt Offering.

Here, have some salt.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Rollin' Away the Stone: Year Zero-Six

It made sense at the time.

Rollin' Away the Stone: Year Zero-Six

I: Alles Kaputt

The bungee cord of recovered memory took me back.

Back to the opening scenes of the powerful film "Das Bööty", where the lanky Herr Kapitan G of U-812 was studying the world through the powerful ZeissOptikon Periskop. He'd been stalking the elusive "Convoy Odalisque" for several days--the round-bottomed freighters were tempting, but he had to wait for the proper moment.

Little Dieter the radioman was monitoring the convoy signals. Suddenly he began to pick up the cluster LS-MFT...LS-MFT...LS-MFT. A distress call broadcast in the clear.

Herr Kapitan G 's commands were curt, with no schwitters.

"Es ist total alte Schule...senken Sie den Periscope"

The periscope retracted swiftly to the deck as the klaxon brayed its 2-note "Muff-diving! Muff-diving!" alert.

The Bosun bellowed "Prepare torpedoes!"

The swift and deadly Mark VIII-PunktFunf FleischTorpedoes were readied, armed, and chambered.

"Triple Cap latte! Ach rechts oben kommen!!

"Torpedos 1, 2, 3, 4 away"

There was a burst of sound and bubbles as the torpedoes pursued their prey with blind one-eyed tenacity. Eine Kleinische Schlacht-Musik, Kapitan G thought grimly.

He watched intently through the periscope. Torpedo 2 struck MV Ethyl Murmanskaya right behind the wheelhouse with a blinding flash. Five thousand tons of volatile personal lubricant ignited in a cataclysmic explosion, which made twin miniature reflections in his oval glasses...

I had awoken in a sweat. It was OK.

II: Nomex Is An Island, Its a Peninsula

The penance section of the Chantry Road was empty. Mostly. Save for a few most excellent Chantry Road Hikers who had deployed their hiking poles, mainly to get a better purchase on the relentless blacktop. Moving past them, I was on the Righteous Path to Ascend Mt Wilson-Phillips, and it was good.

I was alone in a breezy silence; the only sound was my tantric breathing in counterpoint to the grinding noises of my thoughts. Climbing up the now-mossy green rocks of the Winter Creek Trail, I set my sights upwards for the Manzanita Ridge. Coming around a corner I surprised a young adult cougar. It a stripling lad, heir and tributary to the Chucky the Cheese-Kutting Kougar predatory tradition.

Seeing the cougar made me realize I was hungry. I unwrapped an industrial caloric extrusion, and savored the complex flavors and textures; red oak sawdust and pink urinal cake, bound together with WD40. Chased it with a swig of water, and left a fluorescent cloud in my wake.

III: The Killer In Ewe Is the Killer in Me

Upper Winter Creek was empty of all traffic. A few apostate squirrels made desultory insults in my general direction. I caught the whiff of post-Saturday night squirrel whiz. The poison oak was trembling and dewy, the glowing ingenue of the trail, begging to be touched in that special way. I manfully declined the oblique proposition, and made relentless forward progress.

The top of Mt Wilson-Phillips was shrouded in the modest veil of mystery and scudding clouds. I began to see outriders of the REI Tribe in traditional Sabbath finery as they made their way down from the top. Evidently another solo unsupported bid.

Water flowed from the summit tap which is always a good thing. The wind whistled through the pavilion, carrying with the echoes of many Alannis Morisette songs that have escaped from the lowlands beneath the mountain.

The Sturtevant Trail was again empty, with only the skidmarks of yesterday's children to remind you of your eventual mortality if you ride a mountain bike. But the mountain lion sleeps well tonight, bwana, for all of our tomorrows. I took a long, reflective pull on the narghyle. Omar knew his shit.

Past the spruce, down the rocky trail to where the canyon oaks dwell and frolic. I'd read in the paper that Halliburton was bidding on a contract to mine and log in this part of the forest. This would remove all the chaotic and unpredictable irregularity. In its place would be uniform tetrahedral slopes, garbed in bamboo, tended by giant robots armed with machetes and AK-47s, which have a better service record according to Consumer Reports.

I was coming into the Sturtevant Camp drainage, populated by the mystic and reclusive Sturtevant Canyon Bears. These bears generally wear green hooded sweatshirts, beer hats, have surly dispositions, and are known to have a fondness for pen-fed Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

Free-range Boy Scouts are non-existent, while the pen-fed ones are given a carefully selected diet high in HFCS, white flour, and various stabilized culinary lubricants. The Bears can track packs of these sojourners simply by following the caramalizing vapor trails. Its a remarkable process, one that's been put on hold while the Chantry Road has been closed, and the seasonal herds of Boy Scouts have not been able to have been trucked in to their summer ranges.

IV: Where You Goin' WIth That UB40 In Your Hand?

I stopped by the Sturtevant Camp to visit with the Camp Manager. There we discussed the recent developments wherein some cabin owners had discovered that squirrels had set up meth labs beneath the floor boards. The most effective solution was to burn them out, which was not met with enthusiasm by the squirrels.

This being Easter, an influx of chocolate bunnies had been noticed. The erstwhile hosts had responded by biting off their ears and asses in retaliation. The bunnies were mute in their sufferings, as was their destiny.

Now was the time to Make Time, For Time Waits For Nobody's Goat's Head Soup. The trails were warming up as I came more into the general range of Big Santa Anita Canyon. Looking down various drainages and washes I marvel at the creativity of the names; Dead Horse, Lost Rider, and Remote Control Canyon come to mind.

Surfacing again at Chantry, it was clearing and sunny. I tucked it in and made my tangent-cutting drop down to the bottom, where the Shire of SIerra Madre slumbered in the wan afternoon light. The inhabitants were closing in on their final Easter Dinners, and if it wasn't Lamb With The Bone In, it was Wild Tofurkey in some description.

And thus another day was spent in the contemplation of resurrection. Word.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Musical Verities

Your morning is now ruined.

Several of us were discussing this on Tuesday night. My favorite Backstreet Boyz songs from The 2-Pac Tribute Albumz are:

FRONTIN-NOT-HUMPIN

I'M WISHIN I WAZ FREAKIN YOUR SISTER IN HER PASSAT

IF I BEG REAL NICE, CAN I DO YOU?

MY UNDEROOS R 2 TITE

PREP SCHOOL SLAP DOWN [3" REMIX]

TAKIN IT TO THE CUL-DE-SAC MAX

ZITZ

GIRL, I THINK YOUR BOYFRIEND IS GAY

MILKSHAKES AND ROOFIES IN ORLANDO

and yes,

YOUR MAMA'S PLACE IN CABO

All this is to set the stage for your discovery of Rage Against The Machine's long-lost "Chiapas Sleigh-Ride: the Zapatista Xmas Album".

also, not to be missed:

R Kelly: "Stray Cat Blues"
Avril Lavigne: "Cher Before Her Thyme"
Michael & John Bolton: "Classic Renditions"
Richard Simmons: "Channeling John Lee Hooker"

PS: you know you want this: "Britney Lip-Syncs Nico"

Monday, April 10, 2006

Trail Work, Playing Nice, and Other Topix

Uncle Hal WInton kicking it old-school, trail work.
Hanta ho, truthseekers!

 AC100 Trail Work

This past Saturday I ascended the Aulde Mt Wilson-Phillips trail, departing the Shire of Sierra Madre, wherein the Hobbits were busy for another fine breezy day of debt-stacking down at the Santa Anita Mall, and perhaps the Racetrack. I, of course, was a mendicant on my way to see the first trail work of the new year, led by the inestimable Hal Winton.

Uncle Hal, you may recall, is the co-RD of the AC100. In this capacity, he is the head of the AC100 Trail Volunteer Group. This entitles him to palaver, entreat, negotiate, commiserate, and cooperate with the local US Forest Service here in Southern California. On any given day he'd rather be blasting stumps, but these are the necessary steps to ensure that the Race has a place at the table when decisions are being made.

Some of the decisions involve who gets to go where when roads wash out, when forests are tinder-dry, and when little tiny frogs become very large in an environmental impact reports. Because the working relationship between the Angeles Crest 100 Race, CalTrans and the USFS has been consistently positive, the race has been able to carry on. When others have not.

A Different Planned Race Stillborn Due to Operator-Error.

 Which brings me to another juncture--the short-lived BackBone Trail 100k that was supposed to run this past weekend. On paper it looked like a swell idea. I looked at the map, and thought "my oh my, this is an interesting idea...but gee?...how are they gonna handle the Etz Molloy section which to my last recall was on, you guessed it, private property?"

I needn't have wasted time thinking about this. The National Park Service got wind of this fine event, and did the No-No Smack-Down on the witless RDs.

"Whuh-fo? Whyzzat??"

Because they didn't bother to get permits.

Talk about bone-headed, this was it. And, they figured they could traipse 30+ people across a private-property section without anybody noticing? This is America, and every ultra-dork in the race knows 3 people with a car, and they'll be swarming up and down those canyons...

So now these wanna-be RDs are 2 strikes down. One, with the NPS, and two, with the folks that had donated time, money and effort to this still-born frolic. Note to the lads: both communities are very small.

Back to the Main Event

So back to the AC100 people. There was a fine turnout on the Manzanita Ridge Bypass, where the new trail was surveyed almost 9 years ago, and hacked through all kinds of resistant greenery, the most predominant being manzanita and poison oak. The Bypass laid to rest a vertical, ridge-running sandy rutted nightmare that was just too much fun in the middle of the night. Aaaah... one of the more fun buckle-eating sections in the last 25 miles of AC. The trails were being trimmed back, water-bars realigned, some downed trees shoved over to the sides, mainly to prevent idiot mountain-bikers from getting the Final Air of their short, brutish existences and so on.

Of course Uncle Hal wasn't anywhere near the top. I had to chase him down into the Heart of Darkness itself, the Hoegees Junction 3 miles down back towards Chantry. There I found him in an extended meditation with Scott Sullivan and Danny Westergaard. Things were looking pretty good, all told, and we commenced the hike back up to Manzanita Ridge, amusing ourselves with vintage AC stories involving projectile vomiting, trail-time crying sessions, and so on. The merriment was contagious, and before we knew it Scott and Danny had hurled a downed tree over the side of a switchback.

A Happy Ending

Collecting the others on the way up, everyone gathered at the Dave Trinkle Bench on the ridge, ate some cracking-good brownies brought by Ms XY herself, juggled a pulaski or two, counted coup, and then called it a day. I returned down whence I came, having secured some photographic evidence of the good works and continuation of process by all involved.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Wherein I Save Four Trail Betties From Unspeakable Peril, Pt I

I had only pondered the verticality of the Bulldog Road for a mere 19 minutes when I was stopped by an earnest young man heading down the mountain. His first query was in a dialect and demotic strange to me, but familiar. Upon a second request his plaint was made known to me, and was as follows:

"Where is Corral Canyon?"

Oh my young woodchuck, it is the better part of a league in the exact opposite direction you are heading.

He was revealed to be a sincere young man, an Indian native from New Delhi, and had ambitions to be a Sierra Club Group Leader. This was the preview to the provisional hike prior to ordination in the order. Inexplicably I thought of several recent openings in various chapters after outings on Mt Baldy. I held my counsel.

After guiding him safely back to Corral Canyon, I continued my gyre. It was a good day, a 21 mile trot "in the bag" so to speak, and my car awaited me 4.2 miles hence. The wind was at my back, and I was travelling at an average rate of .35Balto, in short, a stumpy-legged shuffle due in large part to my attenuated training regime. But, I was a legend in my own mind, which was a slow freight taking no passengers.

Less than a mile from the finish, I was making a descent before the last climb, and hit the Trail Betty Super Lotto. Not merely one, but four lithe and dewy young ladies out for a Sunday hike, daintily picking their way down the trail. Their sox were still sparkling white, their shorts were creased perfectly--a veritable schwing quartet of freshness. My cheery salutation effectively masked the sound of my eyeballs experiencing the latter stages of Avery-Jones Ocular Dislocation Syndrome [1951, 1952, 1954 et alia]. The final climb up to the patiently waiting car was defined by character-building high-knees and butt-kickers.

"But Mr Trail Safety...what did you do??? How did you save them???"

I gaze into the upturned expectant faces of my attentive audience. It breaks my heart to see such innocence, which Some Had Thought To Be Forever Lost. I have not forgotten you, nor will forsake the Horndog Story Line. So here goes...

...Once upon a time, when a tired and sweaty Mr Trail Safety finished a nice long run on 21 miles out in the Santa Monica Mountains, he had just finished showering at the car. He had just girded his loins with a bright and cheery towel, had put on a clean white shirt, the kind with buttons down the front, and no sponsor logos on the back. My people call it 'a dress shirt.
Mr Trail Safety had just started pulling on his trou, when four lithe and dewy young ladies stepped out of the bushes into the dusty parking lot. They were puzzled, and conferred amongst themselves. They were sorely troubled. They looked expectantly at Mr Trail Safety, who didnt tell them that his trousers only had 2 legs, and that there was an additional passenger.

Noting their perplexity, Mr TS asked them if they were lost.

"We are, we are!" was the soprano quartet in chorus. Oh, Lisa Loeb and Sheryl Crow could only wish to hear back up like this.

"And where did you start from?"

"We started from...a parking lot!" spoke the tall brunette, channelling her Inner Blonde.

"Uhm...that's nice, but can you tell me *where* this parking lot was located? It might help me answer the question.."

A chorus of sincere apologies, and it became clear that Corral Canyon had been their starting point also. Mr TS clarified matters by informing them that it was exactly 4.2 miles east of where they stood, and gave them precise directions on how to get back to their cars and so forth.

But you wonder--where was the peril?
Mr TS had not the heart to tell them that there was a libidinous and depraved White Rhino loose in the Santa Monicas, that was, in truth, a cross-species sexual predator. Reports have surfaced of hikers and pedestrians disappearing suddenly and without a trace. The last known disappearance was known only as "Dietrich".

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ferrari28feb28,0,3986184.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Furthermore the White Rhino has a specific m/o, which includes shared Kool 100s, and enigmatic references to Pearl Necklaces. So yes, Mr TS saved these young ladies from certain peril, and we were later to hook up over organic Jello-shots [made with free-range artisanal vodka] down at Gladstones off Sunset. When they asked Mr TS what his name was, he replied in the affirmative.

Now that's cold chillin, and shizzle to the max.
Word.

--Bone Regards, Mr Trail Safety
"Tanned, rested and ready from his Secure, Undisclosed Location"

<<>>

Listen up!

This message is being sent by or on behalf of Mr Trail Safety. It is intended exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed, excluding non-specific incarnations and bardo-state entities. It contains concepts that may challenge you. You will adjust. This communication may contain information that is proprietary, privileged or confidential or otherwise legally exempt from disclosure, certain to cause cerebral flatulence and conceptual infarctions among the simple-minded and comedy-challenged. If you are not the named addressee, you are not authorized to read, print, retain, copy or disseminate this message or any part of it, including channelling the aforementioned to spirit-bodies, Taiwanese Dream-Catchers, Heritage Barbie Dolls or Dale Earnhardt Collector plates. But go ahead, live dangerously, drive left-of-center and give it your best shot. If you have received this message in error, you are SOL and deserve it--you'll have subsequent incarnations to work out the kinks.

Here, have some salt.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Arianna Huffington Examined

Recently Arianna Huffington was taken to task for having a colossal ego and character issues. Really! Compared to the bile and crap spewing out of whatever head Michelle Malkin or Sean Hannity are wearing these days, its nothing.

Then there was a blow-up regarding Clooney's post on HuffPo etc. Insert farting noises here. Yours, mine, it doesn't matter.

I've watched the Arianna from the safety of my kitchen table for several years now. So someone had to say something. And I did.

Hollywood is not my beat," Huffington said.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-wk-clooneymar16,1,7617508.story?coll=la-headlines-entnews

Hi Bob:

Dude! Do I hear the Outraged Voice of the Lover Spurned here? You mean to say that Arianna alone is the sole object of your fury because she's All About Me? And like who the fuck in DC and the 90210 isn't?

Did it occur to you that the ones you really have to watch out for are the Ones Who Claim To Serve Humanity Alone? they are the ones who seem to have a plan involving complicated one-way train schedules converging on a smoky furnace somewhere.

With that out of the way, let's look at some salient points in Arianna's career. Consider this a broad overview:

1] She came from bankrupted Greek somethings to Washington DC to troll for the best-looking available talent in the GOP Stud Book. On that day its Mike Huffington.

2] Mikey Huffington turns out to be gay, and that's after dumping $29m into one of the stupidest Senate campaigns in California history, which he lost by a slender margin. Not a landslide, but slender. He and Arianna divorce, afterwhich he announces he's a Democrat AND gay, to the befuddlement of both mentionees.

3] Arianna meanwhile has a Road to Damascus epiphany, wherein she realizes that Newt Gingrich is really a large, chubby, opportunistic termite at the head of a large column of similar parasites. Maybe that causes part of her fore-brain to wake up and say "what the fuck?!"

4] Bill Clinton gets a blow job, and we get to hear all about it. If it was me, I'd sooner walk into a woodchipper than fuck with Hillary if I was married to her, but to each their own.

5] Bush wins the 2000 election by five votes. Look for character in that one.

6] 2003: Meanwhile, back in Cali, Gray Davis has the GOoPers in fits because of his grasp of CA politics. He's grudgingly re-elected only because Bill Simon is so goddamned inept, following in the large footprints of Dan Lundgren. A recall campaign is launched by Daryll Issa, and hatched in the SUV'd echo-chambers of rightwing talk radio down in San Diego. Pissed off white guys are howling about Davis. Never mind that he was double-buttfucked by Enron and a car-registration time-bomb bequeathed to him by Pete Wilson.

7] Enter the Arnold--Goodbye Darryl, and sorry about that $2m you spent outta your own pocket.

8] The recall election is on. Where were the Democrats? Hiding in plain sight with their thumbs up their asses. Who was visible and had something to say? Arianna.

So, blow all you want. She's got more balls than 99% of the current Senate, and she should be bitch-slapping Nancy Pelosi into doing her job in the House. And if she's vain, self-centered, and all that, so-fucking-what!

In the face of a whole ungodly host of ethics & character-challenged ugly schemers like O'Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, Savage, and their lesser troglodytes, try to remember who is doing what. Maybe just a little.

Vintage Wheel Estate

"I can tell all of you we are really excited by this, and we'll all have to take our turn with this amazing item."
Bucky Kibble III, Llano CA

The Famed Eberhardt-Kranken Fabrikant Travel Trailer

The EKF is an honored name in luxury recreational vehicles. Originally designed in 1921 and built in Austria, the original EKF Model I was a 4-meter, 2-wheel-duraluminum trailer towed behind a 3-cylinder Opel Kadett. When the trailer was set up, it deployed oleo-strutted shock absorbers, which earned the undying affections of the thousands of honeymooning couples that took to the autobahn. The initials EKF quickly became known as "Eine Kleinischen Fuckshäcke", a moniker the company never fully disowned nor discouraged.

The Depression put a major crimp in sales, and the growing war-footing of the Nazi economy siphoned off all production to the recreational arm of the Wehrmacht. By 1944 Allied bombing nearly finished off the company. Immediately after war's end in 1945 saw a heroic relocation of the factory out of the Soviet Zone was finished by February 1946. Models built under British military supervision showed a noticable lack to finish detail, and leaked.

Due to poor quality control, lackluster advertising, and poor marketing, the EKF company went into receivership in late 1953. The EKF marque was bought out in 1954 by a Swiss consortium who sensed a pent-up longing for affordable creature comforts in the postwar recovery. A series of clever ad campaigns using Grundig radios as a marketing tie-in took the EKF company towards new heights. However, this was nothing compared to what was to come.

The picaresque 1958 road movie, Caliente Sur la Planche set in Franco's Costa del Sol, Spain provided the stratospheric marketing boost. "Caliente Sur la Planche" featured matinee-idols Reginald Debacle and Mimi Farrago as a star-crossed couple making their way down the sun-splashed Ibiza coast. But it was their EKF Model 8.5 that stole the show, with the whimsical deployment of the hydraulic struts that audiences knew as mere prelude to romance, romance, and more dance numbers. All that and the antics of Pepe, the Dancing Bichon Frise, packed movie houses across Europe for the better part of 1959.

In its day, various models of the EKF have been owned by Farouk of Egypt, the Shah of Iran, various Borneo potentates, Iranian mullahs and several by Leonid Brezhnev. Brezhnev's "Das Kapital" EKF was carefully modified to be towed behind a T-54 tank, had communications plug-ins and was nuclear-hardened.

Vintage EKFs now command top dollar at auctions, and are always in demand at concours d'elegance the world over. They have come back into favor with the high-flying members of the international glitterati, in addition to the "ziteratti" as typified by O-Town, A*Teens, Britney and so forth.

Today's EKF is a far cry from the its humble origins. Some models stretch over 30 meters from stem to stern, and come with an observation deck. The more lavish have skeet traps and driving ranges set on gimbals. Check local ordinances prior to use. With proper care and maintainence, your EKF will give you pleasure for years to come.


Eberhardt-Kranken Fabrikant Travel Trailer: 1979 EKF Model XXVII
  • Dual Axle 10-wheeler
  • Powered by twin Wright Patterson Anderson/Lee Radial engines
  • Gold shag carpet thru-out
  • Avocado appliances
  • 8-track stereo
  • rotary-dial intercom
  • Multiple doors and windows
  • Mansard roof with squirrel-proof drainspouts
  • Top speed 80 knots
  • Range: 350 miles
  • Pressurized to 1.1 atmospheres
  • LORAN enabled


***And much, much more

O79ekf.jpg.


This article recently appeared in the "Vintage Travel-Trailer News" out of Sarasota, Florida.

I am and remain,
yr Humboldt Obliviant idiom Savant

Erasmus Binkster Rfp, SoQ, AMf
Chancellor Emeritii
Hellmouth Amalgamated PolySci
Hellmouth CA

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sierra Madre: The Insolvent Village That Could


Sierra Madre: The Insolvent Village That Could
Diamonds and Dust Redefine The Future

By Beville P. Flexworth

SIERRA MADRE, CA [AP] The unincorporated village of Sierra Madre, CA declared itself insolvent February 1, 2007. This was a chastening development for this seemingly prosperous enclave nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, immediately below the majestic bulk of Mt Wilson.

The insolvency was first announced at the City Council meeting January 15, 2007. Rumors had been swirling like Santa Anas through the famed wisteria vines for many weeks prior, and fiercely competing lawn signs had been cropping up like Algerian ivy in the bucolic tree-shaded neighborhoods. Residents were bitterly divided as to how this unfortunate turn came to pass.

Municipal debts totaled $18m against available assets of $4m. Immediate cuts were made in fire services, the police department was virtually shuttered as all law enforcement duties were assumed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. All of this would have gone unnoticed in larger picture of life in the San Gabriel Valley were it not for surprising subsequent developments.

The first move towards fiscal equilibrium was taken by the City Council in a closed-door meeting on February 17, 2007. By a contentious vote of 4-3 the Council agreed to sell all building rights to the Sierra Madre Spreading Facility, adjacent to Dapper Field for $20m. The rights were sold to the Verga Larga Band of Gabrieleno Indians, a previously obscure and hitherto Federally unrecognized band. The mood in the Council was of guarded optimism, given that the Spreading Facility was generally regarded as being unable to support any structure larger than a pup-tent without sagging. In a word, they thought they’d sold the Brooklyn Bridge to a rube.

When the sale details became public there was a considerable outcry from an unusual coalition of radical vegans and heavily-armed nativist militia groups who protested the sale with displays of large animated zucchini puppets and tractor-pulled floats featuring home-built Pershing II missiles, with Lee Greenwood accompanied by 9’ PVC didgeridoos.

Excavations began at the spreading facility on April 1, 2007 as the Verga Largas brought in contractors to begin work on the gargantuan We-Attax-Um Kasino Resort which included a 3000 room hotel and Konvention Center. Work was progressing at a brisk pace as the Verga Largas kept to a 24/7 work schedule. Neither public or the village was prepared for the shock when at 200’ below grade, backhoe operator Manuel Pupusa brought up eighteen perfect diamonds in his steel bucket, ranging in size from a melon down to a golfball. His backhoe had struck the upper cap of the largest undiscovered diamond reef in North America. All work stopped as geologists came in and confirmed that the pipe extended more than 3 miles northwesterly and 4000’ down into the depths of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Work resumed on the diamond mine, and now on the casino. The Sierra Madre City Council realized that they had been gamed, and scrambled to curry favor with Chief Ho-Hum and the Verga Largas. Delegations made the humbling journey from Kersting Court to the Yee-Haw Travel-Trailer Court on the banks of the Santa Ana River where Chief Ho-Hum held court.

Village life that had been completely disrupted by the non-stop rumble of triple-bobtail trucks hauling supplies up to the construction site, and dirt fill away continued anew. The excavations had also disrupted groundwater supplies to the famed mega-Wisteria Vine that was the centerpiece of Sierra Madre’s identity. The Vine expired on June 22, 2007. This loss was mourned by a solemn service at the garden, accompanied by an interpretive dance by the St Rita’s Catholic Parish Nude Tai-Chi Dancers.

The disruption and upset was not confined to Sierra Madre. The neighboring cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Pasadena, and South Pasadena joined in the Grand Coalition against Sierra Madre. Altadena initially chose to remain neutral, but was brought to heel by stern-faced, portly polyester-coated enforcers dispatched from The Hat in Pasadena.

The Grand Coalition had been protesting the long and winding parades of trucks, dust, air-pollution, and general disturbances caused by swarms of unruly Caucasians seeking work in the telemarketing boilerrooms. Getting no satisfaction, the Coalition struck back by sending work crews to erect cinderblock walls topped with concertina wire blocking all the offramps from the 210 Freeway into Sierra Madre. Governator-For-Life Schwartzenegger was notified while he was in Mexico negotiating the California ‘Mi Casa No Es Su Casa’ Free Trade Agreement. Vice President Bush was notified only on June 15 after his nap at the Bernard Kerik Mountainbike Resort in New Jersey.

Sierra Madre doggedly stayed the course to fiscal certitude. The now-renamed Mariah Carey Diamond Pipe Mine was put into full production bringing forth 400,000 carats a year. The output was enough to draw protests from DeBeers, the Russians and the Congolese diamond interests as it blew a hole in their profits.

The We-Attax-Umm Kasino was opened to blazing media coverage, complete with the red-carpet and Joan Rivers providing needling commentary. Astonished visitors to the Kasino were treated to an staggering animated sculpture court of 13 animatronic Indians, each over 14’ high, that were seated in a circle, mechanically spooning “cereal” from colorful bowls, each over 4’ in diameter. The ‘cereal’ was really nickels piped in from the slots. Everytime there was a winner in the slots, one or more of the “Indians” would stand up (depending on the jackpot), his feather would light up, and pasty-faced minimum-wage white kids would charge out of a hidden door waving rubber tomahawks and do a congratulatory war-dance.

All of the previous big-money players in Sierra Madre’s political life were upended in the mad scramble for the diamond and casino money. Even after-dark visits by the village solons with their nubile daughters in tow to the Verga Largas did little to alter the placement and disposition of overburden from the diamond mine. Some of the previously omnipotent village policemen found employment as parking lot vacuum operators.

Eventually the Grand Coalition acknowledged defeat, and sued for peace at the Historic Peace Council in the Grand Richard Simmons Ballroom at the Kasino. They were to send their Rose Bowl Queen candidates to Sierra Madre, and pay tribute for fifty years.

Meanwhile the Vergas Largas El Supremo, Chief Ho-Hum, speaking through his SpokesBetty at his singlewide trailer on the banks of the Santa Ana River, made a series of colorful and not-safe-for-family-newspaper announcements regarding the future of the diamond reef, the We-Attax-Umm Kasino and remote controls everywhere.

“I’ll fish for minnows in the river, eat Costco cereal, buy Walmart 24pak tighty-whiteys, peer up at the stars on a hot summer night, and generally tell all of you palefaces to go fuck yourselves!”

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Gyrl, Youe Knowe Yts Trewe


Greetings, Gentle Reader:

I have before me a poem that was recently discovered hidden in a wall, behind a broom closet, on the 4th floor attic of the Bilious Refectory of St Pythos The Charred, 2 Close Way, Bangers-On-Mash, Wankershire, England.

All internal evidence points as with one eye that it was intended as work d'art, a carta de introduccione if you will, for the author to gain favor with an unspecified, but literate woman. Other works of this era refer to such-said women as "stackedde". The author is evidently familiar with more-than-basic Principia de Pharmacopia, and was competent with the use of the astrolabe and perhaps the Astroglydde.

Gyrl, Youe Knowe Yts Trewe

In thyss letterre, unadorned bye circumflexxe,
Moated by serfe, andde imperis rex,
By guttering light I penne thyss screed,
Cribbyng fromm the werkes of Venerable Bede.

Your profyle immaculata [verso/recto]—to boote,
At the shore, I'm seated, imitating Kanutte,
Attempting to conjure with Saynte Johnn Rootte,
Cracke'd jokes to make yewe hoote.

My Travelles notte so grande as Prester John,
Nor lyke the Moore—Ibn-Batuta,
But byy many leagues to the farre horizonne,
And never once to the Isle of Hooters.

Oh! shytte howdie, my daye is donne,
Beowulf, Grendel—no home runne.
Bases loadded, Valkyries ande Ring.
The heavennes partte: Fatt Ladye Singges!

Not mountebank or jackdaw lesse,
In versifying I do confesse,
That these words are trewe--noe more, noe lesse,
My prose profile limns, the True Mr TS.
In a word, the references and cadences it is couched in are, well, prescient. Some say that this document may join the hallowed inner circle with the likes of the Nostradamus, and the Shroud of Turin [as modelled by the Piltdown Man].

[signed]
I am and remain,
yr Humboldt Obliviant idiom Savant

Erasmus Binkster Rfp, SoQ, AMf
Chancellor Emeritii
Hellmouth Amalgamated PolySci
Hellmouth CA
Tue, 07 Mar 2006 09:26:29 -0800

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Marathon Advice to a Newbie


Photo taken back when I was fab, just before my very first marathon—I knew nothing.

PRE RACE

  • Avoid the pre-race carbo load. It'll put a wad of gummy sludge in yr gut that will buy you nothing. And you'll be thinking of how to take a dump before race start. A better plan is to have no solid food [finished & done] after 5pm the day before the race. Relax wherever you are staying--home or maybe in that hotel you mentioned. Stay off your feet. Plenty of time for that later.

THE REAL CARBO-LOAD, 3 Day Program

  • Thurs: 64 oz of mango nectar mixed w/ Carboplex-interspersed w/64 oz water
  • Fri: 64 oz of cranberry juice mixed w/ Carboplex-interspersed w/64 oz water
  • Sat: 32 oz of Gatorade mixed w/ Carboplex-interspersed w/32 oz water

You can find the Carboplex at General Nutrition or a similar bodybuilding emporia. At the end of this load you'll feel like a cross between Godzilla and a drag-racer jumping the blocks on a 1/4 mile straightaway.

RACE DAY/PRE-RACE
  • Get there at least 2 hrs before the start. Park on the outside of the lot if possible. You'll want to escape when its all over, and so will 20,000 of your best friends.
  • It may/will be chilly when you get out of the car. Ignore it if it's sunny, but don't lose track of the weather. Take whatever crap you are going to need before you get to tthe start area. I'll guarantee there will be lines longer than anything you've seen. If you have to take a leak in the parking lot behind a car--do it.
  • LIBERALLY GOO YOUR FEET WITH CRAMER SKIN-LUBE, OR HEAVY-DUTY VASELINE.
  • Roll your sox on, then tie your shoes. This is a good first step to prevent blisters. I only wished I'd known about it before I ran my first marathon in 86.

RUNNING IT
  • barring thunderstorms etc it will probably be sunny and breezy. This is good. Remember that the majority of the course runs east/west, and is south-facing. You will be warmer than you might think in the pack, so sun protection and shoulder pro is a good idea.
  • Wear a light cap of some kind. If need be you can rotate the cap to protect the back of your neck, which will keep yr core temp down.
  • Don't worry about what the elite runners are wearing doing. They're many pay-grades above you
  • If you don't have a single-bottle waist belt, get one. Do not count on the aid-stations being completely stocked when you get there. Remember your 20,000 friends?
  • Have an extra car-key, a $10 bill and maybe your cell with you. If you got it, you won't need it.
  • Gatorade/electrolytes are your friend. A blunt first-aid item is a small container of salt that you carry in the prev-mentioned waist belt--like you are doing tequila shooters. Lick the thumb, salt the thumb, swallow, and drink the water.
  • You may hurt more than anything you've ever done before. Barring a broken leg or a gunshot wound, dropping at 18 miles will not buy you relief. You'll just hurt while you're figuring out how the fuck to get back to the finish line.
More to think about:
  1. Your quads will hurt because that's where you store glycogen, and you will probably blow thru all that. That's why I've been talking about Carboplex [powdered maltodextrin] mixed w/ Gatorade as a race-drink supplement. With the carboload schedule I mentioned earlier, it'll provide you with a caloric cushion to get you thru most of the race.
  2. THE WALL IS A CONSEQUENCE OF INADEQUATE CALORIZATION.
    It is not an act of Gawd, fate, or misfortune. It simply signals the uncomfortable transition point between burning glycogen and fat. And the body is not designed to give up fat easily.
  3. NSAIDs [ie aspirin, tylenol etc] are not candy. They mask pain, but are not cures. If you are gobbling them, then you have a serious problem that has its origins well before the race, and its time to quit.

Finally--the aid stations are run by volunteers who mean well but probably will outweigh you by at least 1.5x. As fucked up as you might feel, do not rely on them for in-depth medical advice. The discomfort you are feeling is minor [trust me on this one, barring flu, the shits or the previous ailments]. Drink up and get out!

YOU FINISHED
OK. Congratulations!

Your recovery starts at Minute 1.
Now, get to the car, and open that cooler I mentioned earlier. In that cooler there will be a 20oz bottle w/ cranberry juice mixed w/ protein powder. Drink up, you earned it. Jump-start your recovery.

Also, a jug of water {to quick-rinse), a towel and a change of clothes will be really nice for the trip out of there. Plastic bags for all of your skank wear. Nobody is going to pay any attention—they'll be dealing with their own fucked-up runners

Go home. Put your feet up, take a load off. As much as you'd like to hit the beer/champagne/whiskey-vodka coolers, I don't recommend it. Save that for when the recovery process is more fully realized.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Little Rose Bowl Float that Did

The Little Rose Bowl Float that Did

Actually, what WAS awesome was yesterday's Rose Bowl Parade.

Sharp-eyed specators saw the late entry and insertion of the fabled Forest Prince Float, brought to you by D&L Industries.

The 100m float featured a lazily recumbent 50ft high Ye Auld Forest Prince himself, winking at the spectators while nymphs and Trail Betties danced about his startlingly realistic Jade Stalk, as they took turns giving him what was described in the press release as a "hands behind the head knobber"

The float rocked to the thumping and wheezing of the High Country Rump-Wrangler Latex Marching Band from Tom Of Finland, Wyoming as they played "Hot for Teacher" "Take A Walk on the WIld Side" and "La Grange".

Regis Philbin and Ryan Seacrest were stunned speechless by this float, while Stephanie Edwards was observed mopping her brow and loosening her collar even though she was outside under an umbrella in the pouring rain.

The float was also accompanied by a number of what appeared to be the famed Sturtevant Canyon Brown Bear Drill Team; wearing green hooded sweatshirts who danced a "vigourous and exotic" dance with scanitly clad Texas drum majorettes, all of whom had to be removed bodily from the accompanying stretch coach that trailed the float.

Yours in Christian Humility
Mr Trail Safety
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 15:58:16 -0800