Here we are together sitting on the pointy, business end of yet another week.
As usual I have a random array of subject matter and no mind or concern with which to organize it. The best way to get to business is to simply get to business.
For anyone who has ever been across the Bay Area’s Carquinez Bridge or has traveled East from there by train is familiar with the Mothball Fleet;
For those who are unfamiliar, the short version is that they are a collection of decommissioned Naval vessels which have been collected, depositing tons of toxic waste into the bay for years. Only recently have they begun to be towed away to various scrapping facilities. As an cut-rate amateur explorer, from the first time I laid eyes on this fleet, I often wondered what it would be like to board one of these ghost ships. My mind spun out into wild directions fantasizing about what sorts of artifacts might be found there.
That said, on Friday I was beside myself when I came across a first hand account that has been brilliantly documented by Bay Area photographer Scott Haefner;
I realize that the Black Market site can sometimes can be a quagmire to wade through, what with all the random links to very important bits of information, like for example how to get from West Philadelphia to Bel Air;
But Scott’s photos as well as his story about boarding the ships was nothing short of awesome, and I recommend, if you have a boner for such things, take five minutes and drink it in.
For those of you who do not, I offer you a photo essay on art that may or may not suck depending on who’s looking at it, by my ace homie Zoltron.
The first photo is his finished piece;
The images that follow are the resulting collaborative effort;
…And off to the museum it goes.
A nice lady named Kim Dow who is one of the powerhouses behind Bike Monkey Magazine got in touch with news regarding state park closures, and the magazine’s efforts to help stem the tide.
“Yeah, yeah, I know: it’s the same day as your wizard staff shenanigans. Sounds like a match made in Heaven.
Seriously, though, what’s happening with state parks is totally messed up. Help us sell out reg and max out our fundraising?
Perchance you could plug the race again, now that we have some snazzy new art for it?”
With 70 of the 278 state parks slated for closure, we are in a bad way here in California. As mountain bikers this is going to hit us hard.
Sadly this isn’t going to just affect us in the Golden State, but eventually anyone who loves to use their own local system of state funded parks and trail networks will eventually be faced with a similar conundrum.
Thankfully, we here in Northern California have a group like those behind Bike Monkey who are pulling out all of the stops in order to keep this from happening to at least one of the 70.
Now granted, I don’t have a great deal of experience with economics and balancing state budgets, but can it actually cost less to close the parks and patrol them than to cut staffing and impose a user fee? If it came down to me being locked out of my local trails and threatened with a hefty fine for riding them, or buying an annual pass (ala Tamarancho) I would enthusiastically choose the latter.
If you want the full sized version of the artwork for your own devices, I have it stored right here.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or so they say. I beg you.. If you ride a mountain bike, and want to drop some dough to help stop Annadel from closing, plus get to race on some of the funnest trails in the state, sign up. You won’t be sorry.
Speaking of sorrow, I have been on a week long liver and gallbladder flush. This has included light sugar, no meat, no alcohol, no virgin blood, etc.
“Why would you do that to yourself?” you might be asking. I don’t rightly have a good answer. It’s partially due to the fact that I tend to be none too kind to my vessel so a cleanse seemed like a good objective;
The idea of cleaning the slate off so I can begin with a new one seemed relatively appealing as well.
Truth be told, I was sure that engaging in this process would send my body into shock, thereby unleashing all manner of unholy illness on my person.
While it was no fun, and I found that if I don’t eat every twenty minutes I get light headed, the run down temple that is my body got a little overdue spring cleaning. This means as you read this I’m probably ears deep in a western bacon cheese burger/chocolate milkshake/french fry combo somewhere (not at a fast food place mind you. I might be a glutton, but I have principals).
This also means that the 25th of this month will most likely find me face down somewhere with only two cans taped together.
My liver is clean, but my fortitude has been decimated.
Anyway you slice it, it still beats napping on a bed of nails.