Tuesday, August 09, 2005

In the Deleware

I left my parents house late as usual. I got to work on time though. Sometimes I think I just hit another deminsion and I make it to work on time. Work was pretty boring. I went to the notary and had my proof of loss inventory stamped. I really want to get this ball rolling so I could get a laptop again, and buy a new bag. I just hope I get the full value for my stuff.

Mrs. Vadino left pretty early to go deal with the cable people, so I got to use her computer for a while. I can not stand the keyboard on that thing, but for what I need, I guess it works ok. After work I drove part of the way home, and I went for a swim in the Deleware river. It was SO nice. I don't know why I was not going all summer long so far! I just waded in and sat in the water and tried to fight the current. It was a pretty swift current, but not enough where you were being pushed all over the place. There were a few people who were tubing on the river, and the camp across the way was rocking out. I swam around for a while, but I mostly just sat there and tried to cool off. The water was so clear you could see the bottom of the river. That was good because I hate having too much seaweed or gross animals swimming around me. I got out of the water, dried off, and continued my journey back to the city.

I called jess and told her I would pick here up so we could go drive some golf balls. I guess it was my good hitting from the night before or the desire to be outside and not on south street that led me to go and drive golf balls two nights in a row. Whatever it is, we went to a place in Jersey where you could hit the balls into the water. It is a novel idea, since most people have ranges that are all grass. It is a great idea when you think of it. This land is really just sawmp land that this guy built a driving range on. Brilliant if you ask me.

After golfing, we hit up the Cherry Hill mall. We walked around for a while and looked at engagement rings and clothes and what not. I bought a cotton hat for the weekend, so I have something to wear so I don't get to sweaty.

We went home and just relaxed the rest of the night.

Driving hurts my balls

I really need to change the listining to section. I think I have had that biggie song up for a few days now. At least since I had my stuff stolen. If you like it, cool, but I am getting sick of the same song over and over. At least looking at it.

When I got up today the dog seemed to still be bummed about his punishment. It sucks, but hopefull he will learn that he can not pee everywhere. I am sure he will be happy to see me Thursday night.

Today I had work again. But all we had to go and pick up a balance near the NJ shore. Mr. Vadino drove, and I looked at some magazines and slept on the drive. We got down there and picked up the balance and looked around the warehouse. This place is full of used pharmacutical equipment. They had two full warehouses of the stuff.

Mr. Vadino got kind of lost on the way back. It was not too far out of the way, and I didn't care, because I was not sitting at work, but I was pretty damn hungry, because it was almost 3! Jersey highways drive me crazy! They do not make too much sense at all. Only a few more weeks of driving around on them.

We got back to work in time for me to check my mail, eat lunch, unload the balance and some other stuff we got, and turn around and leave. Not too bad for a day of work.

After work I picked up my car from STS. I still had the brake squeel going on so I dropped it off last night to be looked at. The guy took the calipers apart on the rear drivers side and fixed it all up for me. It is not queeling anymore, and I took it on a long drive up to my parents house tonight.

I didn't know how damn nice it was going to be at my parents house. If I knew the forcast for there I would have had one of my bikes with me. It is nice to get to spend time with my parents, and really riding is def secondary to that. At my parents house I talked to my mom for a bit, while I ate some great vegetarian hamburger helper type dish. It was a little cheesy, but you are supposed to eat fattening foods when you go home...RIGHT? I also go to plan our trip to a baseball game with my dad. We talked about directions and what not. We are going to see the Nationals and Phillies next Monday. I also helped my dad with the grass, and helped my mom do some stuff around the house, like take the rug to the car wash to power wash it (sort of white trash), and re hang a door for her.

After I helped them out, I went out with Kyle to go and Drive some golf balls and play video games. We are 25+ and this is still so much fun to me. I got a pretty big blister on my thumb from holding the club too tight, but i loosened up my grip and was able to blast the ball over 200 yards after that. Not too bad for a borrowed driver, and no technique. Now if I could only get them to fly straight.

Monday, August 08, 2005

in the dog house

Back to work again. Not a bad day at work. I was able to update my blog quite a bit over the day. I did not really do too much, but I did not just sit around eaither. I did have to take my car back to theshop, since it is making the same noise it was making just last week before I brought it in and spent $450 on it. I really like for my stuff to be fixed the right way the first time! Everytime I have my car fixed I feel like I am being ripped off. I am sure the legit, honest mechanics have to really fight for people to believe them because of all of the shady wrenches out there. I know what it is like on the bike end of things, I could not imagine having to deal with people and their cars all the time.

When I got back to the Vadino's for the night, I found that Barett, the dog, had leaked on the cable box...AGAIN! Mrs. Vadino was really pissed about that. Last time he did it, they got a new box for free, but probably not this time. She put the dog on punishment for the night. He had to stay in the kitchen all night. I felt bad for him, but I was not about to second guess her and end up in trouble.

because of the dog and the bad weather, I just stayed in all night and watched tv and updated my site. Nothing too great.

RIP Peter Jennings

last day for the week

Listining to Bill MonroeFire on the Mountain Click to hear it

Last day of work for the week. I also don't have to work this weekend, or really travel anywhere. I didn't do too much at work today. I really just thought about my afterwork ride with Brian over in Bethlehem, Pa.

I had to remount my tire, and get it to work before I went out with him. As I remounted the rear tire, and placed it in the dropouts, I heard an awful sound. It was the arm that holds my disk caliper together grinding against the disk itself. Not the best feeling or sound in the world. I fixed that quikcly by bending the piece back into shape, and I was on my way. It was not too far to meet up with Brian and his friend, and I found them riding around the parking lot outside of the building brian works in. He warned me that it was a pretty good climb until we hit the trail. I thought it was for a block or two, and I clipped in and was off.

After what feels like miles of vertical road climbing, and passing the Eagles training camp dorms, we arrive at the top of the LeHIGH campus and the start of the trails. We still have some more climbing to do, but it is nothing compared to what we just did.

The whole trail was pretty rock strewn, like any other part of PA, and a challange for me because I have never ridden it before, and I am out there with someone who knows every inch of the place. These factors coupled with my derilurer problems, and low tire pressure did not make for the best ride for me. I think if I went there with my bike perfectly tuned, it would have be great.

Like I said before we had a ton of climbing and the place has tons of "baby head" rocks, and some fun bridges over some rocky parts or stream crossings. We hit some parts that felt like we should not even ride them, but i just trusted my bike, and Brian and went for them. I did end up almost falling, which put me in a funny spot. I was about to go over my handle bars which would have sent me into a small tree. Instead of letting my dentist put me back together I took both hands off the bar, and I "caught" the tree I was heading for and it's neighbor and stopped myself. Sounds like a normal part of Mountain biking, and it is, but the next part is not so normal. I guess my bike, as it was trying to send me off and into an intamate meeting with a tree, pitched up the rear wheel. As the wheel was falling back to earth after I stopped us, the nose of the saddle somehow got caught on a loop on my Camel Back, and stayed there. Well, I tried to save some face and get the bike off of me, but the front wheel was married to a rock infront of me, which stopped it from moving, and the rear was up in my crotch and hung up on my hydration pack. Not the best situation to be in. Luckily I was not on my own, and one of our riding buddies was able to get me unhooked after everyone laughed at the sight of a rather large tattooed man being held hostage by two trees and a hydration pack.

We cut the ride a bit short, as the sun ws going down and I still had to drive from Bethlehem to Philly (a good 1.5 hours). Brian took us on a power line trail with a lung buster of a climb in order to get us out. At the bottom of the climb, was going to be the part that would let us out of the woods and onto the streets of Bethlehem. Well...somewhere either he screwed up or the brush was overgrown, but we had to ride through a cemetary. Not the everyday kind, but the really creepy kind, where you know these people are going to haunt you, or are already haunting someone. Most of the graves that were further up on the hill were from the 19teens and 20's. They all worked in the steel mill that was just bellow their enternment.

As we came around a corner at the cemetary I finally saw Bethleham steel. I have seen the place from the road, but looking up at it is a way diffeent perspective than looking down from this hill. It looked like a movie set with some strange belching factory as the center of the scene. It does not look like anything I ever saw before. In that brief moment of viewing the facotry all of these thoughts of industrualism, polution, and labor unions all poured into my head like someone cracked open a histroy book and showed me the light. I guess there is something to be said for primary sources.

After the ride, we went back to the parking lot and changed into street clothes so we could hit up a local burrito place. I can not remember the name, but this place made me feel like i was back in Colorado or in Marin County. Brian and I wheeled our bikes through the walkway and just deposited them in the backyard/patio of the joint, and no one seemed to notice at all. The food was good, and relaxing after a ride is aways great. After the post ride fuel, we packed up our cars, and Brian showed me the way towards Philly.

I talked to Pete for a while on the way down there. It was nice to hear from him. He is always so busy these days, it is hard to keep up with him. We talked about riding and trying to get together this weekend. Pete made my trip go by much faster, and before I knew it, I was back in Philly. Jess and I did not do too much for the night, but just sort of lounged.

Fine with me for a Friday night

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sunday oh sweet Sunday. This weekend was great, since we did not have to really drive anywhere, or stay in any other bed but our own. It is hard to relate what a good feeling that is when you have spent a good portion of the last year living on the road. In a few more weeks, I will be sleeping in my bed every night! That will be a change that I can not wait to make!

This morning, I got up real early and worked on my bike for a good deal of time. I wanted to make sure it worked, since I was going to go out for a ride with Pete. Pete and I used to be roommates, till I moved to Virginia and left him all on his lonesome...not really, his girlfriend moved in when I left. Well, Pete and I used to ride together all the time. I got him into mountain biking, and he made me better at it. We have not had much time to ride together with the mix of our schedules these days, but we put this Sunday morning aside for a great ride.

My rear deriluer was messing up on my Friday ride, and I did not want to screw this one up, so I figured I would fix it right. While fixing and lubing, I see that I need some new cables. Soon enough they are going to snap and I will have a single speed to ride home on. I got it working best I could, got dressed and ready to ride, walked outside and whoosh...here comes the rain. I figured screw it, once we are in the woods the canopy will keep us mostly dry anyway. I picked up Pete and we were on our way. The trails were not all that far from our houses, but considering he is riding a single speed, and one of us usually brakes something on a ride, we drove to the Belmont Plateau.

The plateau is part of the Fairmount Park System in Philly. It is part of the largest urban park in the world. Central Park in New York City and Hyde Park in London look like dog runs compared to Fairmount Park, and the whole thing is within city limits. This part of the park is known for softball games, Greek Picnic, cyclocross and mountain bike races, as well as some other unsavory pastimes of Philly residents. We stopped riding here a long time ago in favor of the Wishickon part of Fairmount, because the plateau was too easy. This all changed when I took a ride here in the springtime, and I found a whole new system of trails and connectors all through the woods. This made this place intriguing once again.

It was a good place for Pete to get back on the bike, and I love the tight technical riding that is out there now. There are not too many hills, but a bunch of little ones that you could just power up and over. I much prefer this type of riding versus some of the crazy climbs I usually end up doing. I am sure that if I were in better shape, I could clear them better, but they just aren’t fun, and I don't think they add much in the way of skill. I usually end up running out of gas, or slipping a chain going up most hills. I would rather practice my log jumping and rock and root riding than spinning up a never-ending hill.

We got to the plateau pretty quickly, and we were off onto the trails. Pete was not too happy with the pace, but like the trooper he is, he kept up well. It was nice for me to be kicking his ass, because it is usually the other way around, or we are doing it to each other. My bike was working great and we were having a great time. We took one trail that ended up having a few too many logs for our liking, but we made good work of it. On the way back to the car, I was flying out in front of Pete, and we were almost back when I had a blow out of my rear tire. The sidewall stretched too much I guess. I have had these tires for a long time, and I run them at high pressure, so it was only a matter of time before they went. I want new ones anyway, so this is a good excuse to pony up and get some new ones.

We walked out of the woods, and headed back downtown. We hung out a bit longer, and then I went and picked up jess from the Gallery mall. We went home then met up with some friends

Living on South St. is nice sometimes, because when friends come down there, they call us to hang out. We ended up meeting up with Missy and Skylar for some Taco Bell and shopping. At Taco Bell, the counter person gave us two extra parfait desserts. We ordered two and they gave them to us immediately, then when our other food was ready, they brought over two more. I bet they do things like that all the time.

After running for the boarder, we went to Time Zone then left to meet up with Jim and his new girl. We walked around with them for a little while, then headed off to the Atwater Kent Museum. There was some cool stuff in there, but for the $5 admission fee, I could have looked at the stuff online and it would have been just the same.

They did have some incredible stuff in there like tree trunks that were hollowed out to use as plumbing in Revolutionary times, a scale used by Joe Louis in a huge match in Philly, and a slave harness. The piece they had that struck me the most was a silver bowl. Why silver bowl? It was made with the sweat of relatives that are not too far off. The piece of silver was given to a politician in Philadelphia by Coal Barons as a token of thanks in trying to put down the unrest of the "Molly McGuires", a pro union group from the coal mining region where I hail from.

The rest of the day we spent in the house. I napped for a while, then jess made dinner while I cleaned up for a while. We had some DQ for dessert and watched some TV. What a great end to a great weekend.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Today we got up early started our day of errands and what not. We had brunch at The Royal. The Royal is a bar/reseraunt in South Philly that is frequented by "hipsters" and that sort of crowd. I like it quite a bit in there, since I usually like the people there, and I don't think the food is all that bad. Also, there is a great jukebox that almost always has a great Zepplin song coming out of it. This morning, we were the only non-employees in there for quite a while, till the rest of the breakfast crowd started to roll in. Part of the crowd had my friend Nicki and some others. She told us that Pete and Colleen were on the way as well, which was great since we hardly ever get to see them. Jess ordered the Tofu Scramble, which I thought was a bad idea for her, and I got an Omlet with three "toppings" (I realize they are not toppings, but what the fuck do you call things you put on omlets? (also, if following regular nomencalater where a small pig is called a piglet, if an omlet is a small om, what is an om? A huge amount of eggs with stuff in them?)). Jess did not like the Tofu Scramble too much. I thought it tasted like Indian food do to the high amount of cumin in it. My omlet was great, and the slices of watermellon on the side were great. Service was very good, and the jukebox played a good string of Brit bands like Led Zepplin, The Clash, and Queen. I thought it was funny that they were all Brits, but nobody else found it quite as funny. We sat with Colleen, Pete, Nikki, and the rest of their group for a while, then headed out on our journey for the morning.

First stop since we were already in South Philly was the Phillies stadium. I had to pick up tickets for a game that my dad, his bestfriend, and myself are going to next Monday against the Washington Nationals. We got some great seats right down the Third base line in direct line of where foul balls usually end up. Maybe I will bring my glove!

I needed to go to RELoad to get a receipt for my bag that was stolen two weeks ago from Roland. I also got the chance to look at the show that was going to open up there later in the evening.

Roland wrote up a great reciept for my bag and laptop case, so I could submit it to the insurance company, and order a new bag. I have wanted a new bag for a while, so maybe this is a blessing in desiguise.

After RELoad we headed out to West Philly to hit up Urban Outfitters,EMS, and Barnes and Nobel. After walking around those, we went to Pete and Colleen's house so I could work on his bike.

Somewhere along the way, pete ended up bending his rear disk, which caused him to have a lot of drag when the wheel went around. I tried to tune it best I could so we could ride on Sunday. I got it pretty close to perfect. We hung out for a little longer, then headed home

Later that night we went to see March of the Penguins at the Ritz 5. It was really good. A great documetary. I could have watched it on TLC or something and saved the 18 bucks, but I guess it is better than most other movies that are out these days.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I put my car in the shop today so I get get rid of this awful squeaking noise that I have coming from my routers. I needed new ones, but luckily I had the room on my firestone card so that I could get them fixed without laying out a bunch of cash. That card is SO worth having! $450 later, my car is fixed, and i do not have to deal with the noise anymore.

I got paid today. Thank god. I love pay day like everyone else, but shit I need this money. I looked at my paystub today and realized that I will make about 10 grand less in this job than I will in my next job. I am excited as shit to get into school and start getting some paychecks. Soon enough.

After work on this 100 degree day, I hung out for a little while at the Vadino's house while I was waiting for it to get a bit cooler. I just sat around more or less till about 7, when I went out to go mountain bike riding. I got to the trials, and my tire was more or less flat, so I pumpped it up again...flat again. What the hell? Can I ever have a good mountain bike ride? I decided to cut my losses and head back to their house to cool down and relax

Back at their house, I was able to remount the tube, and as I write this, it seems to be holding air pretty well. That is good, since I am going on a ride with Brian tomorrow after work. That is if it does not rain too much during the day. I really dont feel like getting struck by lightning!

After dealing with the tire, and spending sometime online, I made a great dip into their pool. It was so nice, and night swimming is the best!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I got to go to my apartment today! That is something new, since except for a few hours of sleeping Monday morning, I was away from my house since Monday the 25th.

It was great to see jess, and sleep in my own bed for the night. I have to start to get comfortable doing that all over again, since I will be there every night starting soon.

Earlier today my friend Robin, who I wrote about earlier in the week, sent me an email or bulletin that had the lyrics to a new BANE song (ends with an ellipsis)that made reference to our deceased friend Hans Nothin. The song really struck home with me, since we lost Hans about a year ago at a Bane show in Wilkes Barre. He was one of the best guys ever, and everyone loved him. His death still has quite an effect on me, as he was one member of the family of Wilkes Barre/Scranton hardcore kids that I grew up with.

I went out and got the record at Repo, just so I could have it to remember him by.

I finally got to bed at a normal time!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I found out today that a school I would love to teach at is hiring for a position I am qualified for. I doubt I will get hired but it was worth a shot at trying.

I didn't do too much at work all day. I just sort of sat around and got paid for it. Seems like that is a pattern this summer! I am not complaining since I need the money, but I would much prefer to be out camping or riding my bike all day. Maybe next summer.

Today just from sitting around and surfing the web looking at recounts of what went down at posi numbers fest and how people reacted, I think I need to take a break from the "scene" I am sick of the bullshit that goes along with going to shows. I do not want to have to see who is who, and what new ink did they get, and how their hair looks, or how tight their black tee shirt fits their gut.

It seems that people, at least on boards, seem to think that the fight and other shit that went on at posi numbers is just normal. The amount of joking about the fight, and talking about merch and other babble just showed me why this fight was aloud to happen, and why this type of behavior will continue for a long ass time. If people are more concerned with merch and making jokes, they are not protecting and preserving their scene, and soon enough there will be no small promoters, and the shows will dwindle down, or you will pay huge sums to see a band you like. If you stand around and watch people ruin shows, you are making it easier and easier for the scene as we know it cease to exist.

When the cost of hiring more security, or the frustration of working for a full year and then seeing it all go away when some crew or certain individuals have beef with one guy and have to take it out on the whole place totally settle in, people like Bobb Mac and Sean Agnew and others end up dropping out of setting up shows. Which makes it easier for Clear Channel or someone else to begin sponsoring shows

People need to stand up to the bullshit. It is simple as that. How could a crowd of a few hundred people just stand around as someone hit a member of a band that just finished playing, and a mother of three who has supported the scene since it's infancy for trying to stop a fight from escalating? She was not defending one person, she was defending us all. She is like the rest of us who is trying to stop the bullshit at shows, and what does she get? Punched in the face by someone who gets off on terrorizing people. What does almost everyone else in the building besides her husband do? They just stood there and did nothing. A few did try to help the situation, but the hoards of "scene supporters" stood around and some ran for the door or the merch tables. It is fucking sick to think that this is where we have come to.

I remember the days of hardly any fights at shows. Everyone was having a good time, and if there was a fight, it was over quickly and settled. I also remember the days of people banding together to fight back against those who tried to ruin it. You have to fight back against this shit or it will never stop and the whole scene will be ruined (in my opinion we have reached this point, but for those of you who still believe this is for you). If you see this shit going on, don't just stand there, because someday it is going to end up being you. If you are attacked, file charges with the police. Enough people know each other that you could get names and addresses of people. I think show promoters should have adequate security for shows that they know there may be a problem with. I do not know of the security at Posi #s, but obviously it was not up to par with the amount of people that were there, and the types of kids they were going to encounter. I do have to say that Sean Agnew of R5does a good job with that. He has consistently hired people that can get the job done, and make people feel safe at his shows, and the violence at his shows has dropped dramatically.

Another thing, don't talk shit for no reason to people on the Internet or behind their back. You do not know how many shows have been ruined by "talking shit" on the Internet or wherever. I wish it were just more positive and we had goals for ourselves and the scene, not just how cool our new "traditional" tattoo looks with our shitty black haircut.

Fuck It I Quit