Monday, February 26, 2007

Florida is for pansies

About 3 years ago, to encourage my Mom to get some good exercise here in flat Florida, I shipped her a beautiful cro-moly, lugged, women's 1991 Schwinn Crisscross. However, not before I swapped out the stock stem for one of those adjustable "swan neck" type stems, and the stock saddle for one of those, well, obscenely over-padded springed models. The bike didn't really fit her well and she quickly decided to buy a coaster-braked beach cruiser, complete with basket hanging off the handlebars. This has left the Crisscross for me. And what a joy to ride it is!
So tonight, my last night in the great no-state-tax state of Florida, and after a day of doing odd jobs around my Mom's house, I set out for a refreshing bike ride to take in the 70ish degree evening around my The Groves, my Mother's retirement community. I flew out of the garage, posture perfect, into the pitch dark night. I had hoped to ride for a while and stop off for a mid-ride martini at the Florida Groves "bar" at the community center. I have in the past found some good beers and decent martini's there, but that idea quickly took a powder when I wizzed by and saw the bar lights out. Monday's in Florida finds many a bar closed. I don't really get that, but I know a lot of bars in the South do not open on Monday. Strange ritual that I don't quite understand. But I continued on at mach 20 around this quaint little community... frightening the old folks out for a quiet evening stroll. I had no light, no bells and no fear. It just felt good to be on a 16 year old bike, riding like the natives and smiling ear-to-ear like a kid. A few laps in the big-small ring combination, while sitting perfectly upright, left my body feeling quite refreshed. I came back to the crib, popped open a "craft" beer (not many choices in Florida) and settled in for an evening of packing and listing to tinty Split-Lip on my laptop. Life is pretty darn good.

A side note, I forgot to pack my cables, so I can't post the pictures I took until I get back home tomorrow. So, check back again to this post to check out the accompanying photos.

I'm looking forward to the wet, fertile ground of Beaver!

See ya all soon.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kirk Rundstrom - RIP (center of pic below)

I'm in Florida right now, enjoying mid-70 degree tempuratures and plenty of sunshine. I rode a bike this morning and was feeling good. Then I came back to my Mom's place, jumped on the internet, stopped at and saw that Kirk Rundstrom had died. I knew he was sick. In fact, I saw his band, Split Lip Rayfield, about a year ago at the Cleveland Beachland Ballroom. Lord's of the Highway opened up and Sugar was putting up the band at her house. She invited me to her house for an after party with Kirk and the band. I felt incredibly blessed. But after SLR finished, Kirk didn't look so good. Sugar came over and apologized and said Kirk wasn't feeling well and would just like some quiet time. I was disappointed, but surely understood. It was only a few weeks later he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They gave him a few months to live. I believe he just played again at the Cleveland Beachland Ballroom a few weeks ago. Tough guy.

I took some pictures of the band that night and I'll post them on the web when I get home. I'm glad I got to hear them and see them. I'll take B Rose's advice, go over to my laptop right now and burn a copy to listen in the car today as I go to visit my Sister-in-law and my nephew. I knew there was a reason I brought that laptop.

I discovered Split Lip Rayfield through Bloodshot Records in 1998, just as their first CD was released.

I was blown away. They used a Ford f-150 gas tank with a single weed-wacker line, which played on the key of G, as a bass (you can see it in the first picture above). I have to leave right now, but if you're interested discover more here... GO...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Keying Up

Sometimes, you just find a photograph in your collection that sums up your feelings at the moment. That happened to me tonight.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lewbowski Fist?

When I contacted the founders of the Lebowski Fest for advice and information on organizing such an event, I received the following email response...


We have to ask that you do not use the name "Lebowski Fest" for your event. We've worked hard to establish our name and our event and don't want anyone to be confused as to who is doing what.

You can call it anything else, just not Lebowski Fest. That's our name, Dude.


That was it. The Dude abides, so we'll call our event something else. Any ideas? I have a few...

BABEkowski Fest
BIKEkowski Fest
Lebowski Bash
Lebowski Bowl
Lebowski Rama

A fun event by any name is still a fun event! Check back here for details.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Whoa, it's cold out there

Being a biking enthusiast, I'll ride a bike to just about anywhere and in just about any conditions... except sub-zero wind-chill factors. Bikes are great and wonderful, but this type of weather is why man invented taverns, which is where I've found myself 3 of the last 4 days. It's okay, the beer has been good and the tequila tasty. Winter can be a good time to hang out, listen to music and socialize. I like my healthy 10 digits, so the fingers are off this bar...

and stay on this bar... least for now. Soon enough, we will ride again. Sunday, in fact. Remember, it's a BABE ride and meeting. Worship starts at 11am at the Brady's Run Ice Arena. Then the BABE meeting at 2pm at Hollywood Gardens. Sunday, we ride...

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Cleveland Rocks!!!

The BABES found themselves in Cleveland this past weekend. A rocking good time riding the trails and stunts at Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park. This place rocks. I recommend any true biking enthusiast make at least one trip to Ray's each year. Once you go, you'll know.

After the ride at Ray's we needed some refreshments. What better place in the world than Great Lakes Brewing? Only a short 10 minute ride from Ray's. Some of the best beer on the planet. And for the food... well...
After we did replenish our bodys, it was time to replenish our souls. Of course, that can only mean a trip to the most spiritual of music venues, the Cleveland Beachland Tavern. There the stage was finally graced with Brother Ed and Brother Ant of Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival. We brought the flock... and they did ROCK!
In the end, the BABES were glowing...

Next show... Slim Cessna's Auto Club - Monday (Yeah, Monday!), March 12th at the 31st Street Pub in Pittsburgh. More serious, more dignity and much better musicians... I recommend, you be there... and be blessed...