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Paul Beakley
04 August 2009 @ 09:10 am
It's summer here in Tempe, AZ, which means the sun's up around 0500 and it's probably 95F by 0600. Normally my ritual would be to get up, pull on clothes, stagger half-asleep out the door with the dogs and walk them for an hour. Not so much when I'm pouring sweat and the dogs are avoiding the asphalt.

So, my morning ritual goes like this:

* Dogs wake me up sometime close to sunrise. I sleepwalk them to the back door and let them out, then close the door and my bedroom door so I can't hear them whining to come back in.

* Sleep 'til 8ish. Doesn't seem to matter how early/late I get to bed, 0800 is when I get up.

* Let the dogs in. They're warm but not overheated, but they think they're getting a walk. Pour them some food. Ignore the big pleading eyes.

* Turn on the espresso maker and let it warm up. Put a little plastic cup under the machine to catch the rinse cycle.

* Turn on the laptop on the dining room table and the desktop in the office.

* Grab from the kitchen, in order: steel milk pitcher for froth, cereal bowl, container of Kashi GoLean cereal, a piece of fruit (peach, usually, this time of year), spoon, paring knife, milk from the fridge, giant coffee cup. Assemble everything next to the espresso machine, which finally hits is rinse cycle.

* Log into the laptop and the desktop.

* Three or four shots of espresso. Wiggle my fingers in the bean hopper, which wasn't designed for ultrafresh roasted beans that are still covered in oil. Pour cereal, carve up fruit, pour milk over the whole thing as well as a 1/3 load of milk in the steel pitcher. Run the steamer into the milk. The whole thing is choreographed like a caper movie. Sometimes I hum the Mission: Impossible theme as the pieces all come together.

* Turn on email in the office and Firefox in the dining room.

* Haul bowl and overfull coffee cup into the dining room. Push cat off the chair. Refill cat food bowl that's sitting out of dog reach on the dining room table.

* The morning website list goes like this: AZ forum, Niner forum, Mod forum at mtbr.com; Facebook to make clever comments and maybe add something funny to my own status; check the "new posts" list at burningwheel.org; quick peek into tabletop gaming open forum at rpg.net to see if there are new posts in threads I posted to; second check in @ mtbr.com, usually for PMs; story-games.com, where I shake my head in despair at kids these days; Livejournal friends page to see if any of my interesting friends has posted anything amusing; icanhascheezburger.com and related sites for the funny cat pictures; finally settle in at the AZ forum at mtbr.com for the rest of my breakfast. Same list, same order, every morning.

* Return the bowl and cup to the kitchen. Go to the office and read through the morning's email.

The whole thing takes about 90 minutes. Every morning.

So why am I posting this in such excruciating detail? Because I just realized I do precisely the same thing every morning. It's sort of freaking me out. Sort of. I know I'm a creature of habit. I also know that I don't go into meltdown when I don't get my morning ritual -- like when I'm camping or traveling or whatever.

I dunno. Sometimes I don't like the automaton elements of my life. I think it's one of many reasons time seems to speed up the older I get.

I think I'm gonna try to get up with the dogs at daybreak and change the whole thing up. This summer is the hardest yet.

Paul Beakley
19 June 2009 @ 02:48 pm
Dunno what the big wide world out there is saying, but I've been enjoying Sounds of the Universe. Liked my first listen-through so much I bought tickets to see them live in August, in fact. Think I should wear a KMFDM t-shirt to the concert?
Paul Beakley
09 June 2009 @ 09:44 am
Observations and thoughts following three great days of riding in the Cortez/Durango bit of SW CO:
Read more...Collapse )
Paul Beakley
02 June 2009 @ 09:23 am
So even after I told Linda I wouldn't need her services -- the cats could take care of themselves for a couple days, right? -- she still came over, brushed out my fluffy-wuffy puffball, gave everyone ice a couple times, and handed out treats. I can't really afford the luxury of a paid catsitter these days, but now I feel obligated to pony up.

If anyone lives approximately in the Baseline & Hardy area, Linda comes with the highest possible recommendation. E me for a phone #.

Paul Beakley
10 May 2009 @ 10:21 am
Currently reading: Amberville. Totally effing weird  -- film noir featuring anthropomorphic stuffed animals -- but it's a fun ride. The fact it's translated from Swedish makes it even weirder. I love a good translation, and only getting it 90% right is part of the charm (see: War With The Newts).

Just started, waiting 'til Amberville is done: Fool. I'm a total sucker for Christopher Moore, and the longer he writes the better he gets at it. This one's not quite on-par with Lamb thus far, but is in the Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead category.

Next up, trying hard to not just jump right in: The Steel Remains. Richard Morgan is my favorite current SF author. I see him entering a drinking contest with Charles Stross and beating the stuffing out of him with a chair.

On that note, I heard a rumor that Thirteen's been optioned for a movie. I'm having trouble imagining anyone other than Vin Diesel in the lead. Dwayne Johnson could be good but he's maybe too funny. And as charming as Chiwetel Ejiofor is, he's just not physically huge enough to pull it off (unless he goes to 300/The Wrestler boot camp for 18 months and loads up on protein shakes).

Paul Beakley
Terminator: If this sucks I'll be so heartbroken. I love love love the trailer.

GI Joe: News to me! This is what I get for not watching TV. But holy smokes the trailer is hot.

Transformers: Michael Bay plays demo derby on-screen for two hours. That's gonna have appeal no matter who's directing. And I was never even a Transformers fan back in the day.

Land of the Lost: Look freaking hilarious. Never, ever would have dreamed of a LotL re-creation as the next big Will Ferrell summer comedy.

Two things: There's not a single new property in the lot, and every one of them looks like it was filmed especially for my demographic. Or, possibly, just for me.
Paul Beakley
22 April 2009 @ 06:22 pm

This is what I'm running these days on all my mountain bikes:

  • Moldbuilder Liquid Latex (http://www.eti-usa.com/consum/mbldbar/mldbldr.htm)
  • Your favorite tube sealant. I like Flat Attack, 'cuz it's not as bright green and there's better particulates in it (little fibers)
  • Ammonia (I use ammonia-based windshield wiper fluid)
  • Particulate matter: I like finely ground tire rubber and glitter.
For one tire:
  1. Two "blops" of liquid latex. This is probably like 2tbs or so. Go heavy the first time you seal a tire -- this is what seals the sidewalls.
  2. Double that amount of tube sealant.
  3. That amount, again, of ammonia (so 1:2:2 of latex:sealant:ammonia)
  4. A tablespoon each of tire rubber and glitter.
Mix thoroughly. You should have about 2/3-cup of liquid ready to dump into the tire. 16tbs per cup, right? so...

2tbs latex
4tbs sealant
4tbs ammonia
Paul Beakley
19 April 2009 @ 05:31 pm
Just got word from someone who braved the threat of snow and ice atop Pinal Mountain. He reports that there's no snow on the trail and conditions are good.

I should learn to trust my gut on this stuff and not be so easily swayed. I knew -- KNEW -- the trail would be fine up there.

Had a lovely ride today with my buddy Rye, but we would've had a much better time on the trail I had intended to ride in the first place.

I'm kind of mad at myself for letting a couple people crying about the falling sky sway me from my path.
Current Mood: irateirate
Paul Beakley
13 April 2009 @ 06:18 pm
My all-time favorite mountain bike epic is almost upon us! I'm feeling edgy and excited about it. A little nervous maybe, since I've not been hitting the gnarly stuff that hard lately and I have my doubts about my current health insurance situation (i.e. will they actually cover me if I go to the hospital?).

I freaking LOVE Pinal Mountain. So big, so close, and relatively unknown still. I also kind of like that it has a narrow window in which it's a practical ride -- some of the year the top is snowed in, some of the year the bottom is a furnace. The limited access helps keep it special, I think.
Paul Beakley
I'm getting ready to take a family of five out on an absurdly easy loop this morning and I'm thinking.

Seriously: I love running mountain bike tours. I mean, I go through phases like with everything else in my life: When I was working on the road biking guidebook I was totally turned off the tour gigs. They felt silly, unnecessary. Just get on your bike and pedal, you lazy tourists! But these days I can't think of a better way to spend a day getting paid.

OTOH I see the nonsense Bruce goes through running 360 Adventures. Don't know if that'd be any fun, since I'd spend all my time managing and not, you know, touring. So, no, I don't see myself starting up my own gig (for those of you who've asked me about that in the past). My pain threshold is too low, my desire to ride too high.

Now I need to figure out how to sell more tours to more people. We're rebuilding the 360 site from the ground-up, and I've got an entrepreneurial interest in it now: My payday is tied to the site's success! So for those of you in my cycling universe, answer me this: What would it take for you to spend money on a guide? Not just here, but in general. Thanks for the replies.