1.29.2008

Save Trestles!

The Coastal Commission meets next week to decide the fate of San Onofre State Park and the Trestles point break. Some developer people have submitted a plan to build a toll road, passing behind San Clemente and directly through San Onofre State Park, the fifth most visited State Park in Cali. If approved, the highway would cut off 60 percent of Park. Clicky the pic at left to see the before and after shots of the project posted by the good people at Surfline. The "after" images were created as part of the official proposal, and are designed to be as accurate as possible.

So nice to take a walk in the woods. Along side a freeway.

What's a freeway got to do with a surf break? Trestles is a point, created and nourished by San Mateo Creek, a creek that the new chunk of concrete would largely cover. A point break needs its river to survive. Orphaned from the creek, the point stops working, because the silty rocky bits that keep the waves breaking all the way down the point are no longer replenished by the flow of the creek.

Build the highway, lose the break. Simple.

Governor Arnie has signalled his support for the project, but the Coastal Commission has still to approve it. The company building the freeway likely bought Arnie's support with their offer of a one-time $100 million offset payment, intended to compensate for the lost State Park lands. Surfrider is rocking it hard to convince the Commissioner guys that this is the wrong freeway in the wrong place. See what they have to say to the notion of selling off the State Park in this recent interview.

Surfrider has also posted an online petition thingy.

Me? I think SoCali already has far too many freeways. Far, far too many.

1.24.2008

1.23.2008

A Long Story for a Rainy Day

It's definitely not sunny out anymore, so I suppose I'd better be updatin'.

Happiness is a clean bike on a rainy day on the trainer? Not quite doing it for me, I have to say. I think I need a few more surf videos.

While, I'm waiting for my pod to charge, how 'bout a story from the way back machine? I was chatting with a good friend over email yesterday, and we got to reminiscing about the time we drove across country. A bit of a cliche, the best friends drive across country story. I think someone once wrote a book about it, but I might be mistaken.

I'd been living in Washington DC at the time, doing graduate work at Georgetown University. She drove out with a soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. Tall and skinny, he looked like he'd just walked out of one of those early '90s films set in Seattle, complete with flannel shirt and ripped jeans. He even played drums in a local band. He had the nickname, green bean. But he isn't altogether relevent to our story, since he flew home almost as soon as he appeared. Exit stage left.

After closing out a bar in the District, which for those of you who know anything about DC is quite a feat, because there's no last call, we piled into her Nissan. I'm forgetting exactly what sort of Nissan it was, but she'd had it since high school. It was tiny, and made tinier still once we stuffed all my odds and ends in the back and our tall, gangly selves in the front.

We passed over the mountains into West Virginia, surrounded by the deep green of early summer in the south, and headed toward our first stop in Dayton, Ohio. We had a friend in Dayton, where we planned to stay the night. Alissa had met him in a chat room on AOL. He inhabited a very white, very plain condo in a tidy, carefully mowed lawns sort of suburb of Dayton. We pried into his cd collection. So not punk rock. We went out for drinks in old town Dayton. We didn't close the bar.

Fuled by the bottomless coffee cups of a Waffle House - do they have Waffle House in Ohio? Maybe it was a Denny's - we hit the road toward Chicago. Our goal? The Art Institute of Chicago. A parking meter offered the only space to leave the car. We stuffed the meter as full as it would allow, and headed off to the museum. Time flies when looking at fabulous paintings, and in a panic, we ran through the museum to make it back to the car, imagining ourselves stranded in Chicago with our car in some impound lot. A blur of Kandinsky canvases flew by, the colors streaming together in a way not even Kandinsky could have imagined. Our meter had expired, but apparently it was our lucky day. Not only had the museum admitted us for free, but the parking police had ignored us.

The traffic did not smile upon us, and we sat for hours on a gridlocked highway leading out of the city. We found a bed outside Iowa City late that night, and ate a country breakfast with the local farmers, like a pair of politicians canvassing for votes. Another bottomless cup of coffee - we were still far from the land of espresso - and we set out for Nebraska.

On the highway across Nebraska, our story slowed to a crawl. Crossing Nebraska longways requires commitment. Unlike the gridlock of Chicago, the cow pastures of Nebraska had no radio stations. Eventually we even strayed beyond the reach of NPR, whose consideration of all things wacky and random had kept us entertained when the cows could not. Road stops stood few and far between and we finally braved a truck stop cafe just off the highway. Picture a movie set diner, and you'll know the place. I opted for the always safe, grilled cheese. I forget what exactly Alissa ordered, but it came with this white, glazelike gravy that looked like the product of some alien life form. Alien spoo, over easy.

At last putting Nebraska behind us, we reached a rainy Cheyenne late that evening.

Hmm, nice thunderstorm out there. Internet connection dies, in 3-2...?

Back to Cheyenne. We slept in a motel with pseudo-rustic wood panelling. Like so totally western. At least it was cheap. Determined to make Utah by the end of the next day, we didn't devote much time to Cheyenne. Somewhere along the 80 in Wyoming, the emergency broadcast system started squawking. Naturally, we changed the station. Like, as if we wanted to hear the standard, this is only a test message. Meanwhile, the sky turned black and chunks of asteroidsized hail pelted the car. A rest stop appeared through the murk. We pulled off, and joined a parking lot full of truckers and assorted extras staring at the horizon, watching a not-too distant tornado. I guess sometimes those emergency broadcasts have something useful to say. A trucker helpfully informed us that getting struck by lightening is a bad idea, and driving through a tornado even worse. Thanks, we were a little unclear on that, because like, we've never seen Wizard of Oz or anything.

The tornado headed off on its merry way, and we hit the road to Utah, arriving early that evening. We saw many mountains with much snow. We stopped in Park City and got drunk on 3/2 beer at 7000 feet. Good thing about that altittude. We paused for a few days to sip espressos on Main Street. We slept in a half-dilapidated Victorian, on its way to restoration. But nothing much funny happened. It's hard to be funny on 3/2 beer.

I've done the drive from Utah to San Diego a few times. It's like Nebraska without the cows. At least we had air conditioning, unlike the time I drove it in my veedub one summer. That trip, I wore a bikini, because it was hot and stuff. We stopped at the Barstow McDonalds in the train car and drank milk shakes, because that's what one does in Barstow. We descended Tejon at sunset, the valley already in shadow, a thousand points of light just blinking on. We reached San Diego late that night, never really wanting to see the inside of the Nissan again.

Holy Crap, this is some kind of rain.
And this post definitely needs a picture. Far, far too many words for no pictures. Back later...

1.15.2008

Happiness Is...






















...A clean bike and a sunny day!

1.14.2008

Grayscale














I like a rainy day at the beach. I have no idea who this dude is, but he made me a nice swirly design.

The rest of this post has nothing to do with the picture. Just one of those things.

Saturday, I went out for a little bikey riding. John was out surfing a rockin' west swell that the stork brought in from the Pacific. I'm pedalling along enjoying the sunshiny day, when I see some guy riding along ahead of me. He's going kinda slowlike, so soon enough I roll on up and pass him. I said hi and gave him the requisite roady wave, because I didn't want him to dash home to his computer and get all ranty on some forum or another about how roadies are a bunch of stuck-up assholes who never wave. (True topic, actually seen in forumland.) B'sides, he's in my 'hood, and I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression. The natives are quite friendly here. Really.

So I said hi, and continued on my merry way. Since there's some flowery things blooming (they're obviously confused, like, um, newsflash, it's January), I had some extra snot that needed removing. Duly removed. Oopsy, looks like slow guy sped up and jumped on my wheel. Who knew he was back there? I didn't. So now, he's going to go home and tell all his friends virtual or otherwise about how this mean bitch blew snot on him.

He said he was from the East Coast or some sort of cold place like that. And I'm thinking, you spent all this cash to come out here to ride, and you're going to spend it staring at my ass? Not like you're going to get fit sucking my wheel all day, you know.

And he wanted to chat. With my ass. If he'd actually wanted to talk to me, maybe, just maybe he'd have moved on up next to me and we could have had a chat. Not that I really wanted to or anything, but really, it's odd having someone sitting back there babbling on and on about nothing I can really understand since I can only hear about one word out of ten over the wind.

After a while, I decided I really didn't want to listen to him back there any more. And more importantly, I had some more snot to dispose of. Usually I just head for the hills under such circumstances. Or turn off somewhere completely random. But there weren't any random spots for turning and I wasn't near any hills for heading. So I turned the screws until he blew.

I guess I'm a mean bitch after all.

At least I waved.

1.10.2008

1.04.2008

FREE THE BABBLE!

This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations.
Apparently, the good people at Google think that us Bellas are a bunch of good for nothing spammers. We're innocent, I tell ya. I mean, I haven't written about Viagra once on the Race Blog. Promise. Silly Google People. FREE THE BABBLE!

Orographically Enhanced. Weather report or porn star? You decide.

I had this idea that I was going to lift more this winter. Usually, I crack and give it up. Really, I'm no fan of the gym place, and counting to 15 over and over is not exactly my idea of a good time. But the weather decided to help me out. It's fucking pouring. That, and I discovered the rolly ball balance thingy. Fun times. I did nearly land on my ass, but since there was no one around to see, it didn't actually happen.

Someone at the Red Lobster corporate mothership decided that the gym was a good place to advertise. Nothing like seeing pictures of fried fish bits being dipped into vats of butter while you're doing crunches. Sea cockroaches, yum.

CNN sent some poor schmuck to stand by the side of the road in Truckee. Yep, it's snowing, yes indeed. Sillier still, there were people sitting in their cars on the Eighty, in the belief that they were actually going to get somewhere. Um, like, hello? Any y'all ever looked at a weather report? Let's go drive over Donner Pass during the biggest storm of the year. Brilliant.

A Janet Jackson video came on. My pod was playing System of a Down. It was confusing.

Then, I rode the trainer. Some surfers shredded it on my laptop. That was good of them to show up and help me out like that. And, better still, I finally found a use for that copy of War and Peace I got for Christmas. Because it's not like I'm going to read the thing.

Apparently, Obama won in Iowa. That's nice. I'm glad the good people of Iowa have something to do with their time during the dark days of winter. All those caucuses and town meetings, diners and high school gymnasiums: it makes a lovely advertisement for participatory democracy. Can you give me a little more sepia? Maybe soften the focus up a smidge? Perfect.

Keep your eye on my finger and listen to the sound of my voice. Spectatory Democracy. (And no, that is not a word. I made it up. Sue me. Actually, on second thought, that would be a really bad idea. The suing part, I mean. How 'bout I promise not to make up any more words instead? Because there's a promise I can keep.) Gather around the glowing box and gaze upon the empty pageantry of presidential politicking. Red, white, and blue bunting. So hot this year.

I hit 50 on Free Rice. I'm not sure this is a good thing.

Yikes, there's a whole lotta water out there right now. Um, I think I'm over it. How about skipping the orographically enhanced part? Un-enhanced is perfectly fine with me.