As mentioned in my previous post, here are some snapshots of some of the stuff I had framed to hang up in my office. Two of the images – white-matted colorized photo and the layered photographic image of a young woman – were given me about 30 years ago by the artist, Marlene Davies. Another’s some clippings I collected almost as long ago. Then, there’re the poster I took from a telephone pole on NW 23rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon, and an uncut sheet of Madman Comics trading cards also acquired while I lived at Portland another longish time ago.
Update: I’ll try to post some better pictures of the bike frame this week. C.
Tuesday evening I drove out Murfreesboro to buy a Modikoso bike frame for my son. Goal is to build up a versatile cyclocross-ish bike for the boy to ride on and offroad. I happened upon this amazing deal using SearchTempest to search multiple area Craigslist pages within however many miles of home I was willing to drive to make a purchase. A couple of things sold me on this frame – it came with a Chris King headset that, itself, was probably worth close to what the seller was asking, and it was designed for use with 650b wheels. A few years back, I picked up a 650b wheelset for $50 from Mike at Elon Bike Shop when I was visiting my best friend, Eric. (See my Troi Villes Tour d’Alamance blog posts for reference as well as this post about Elon Bike Shop.)
The wheels I thought were Shimano 105s, but turns out they were
Mavic Experts Mavic CXP 21s (from a distance the sticker looked like it said Expert) with a 105 9 speed cassette. I’ve got good condition Dura Ace front and rear derailleurs I got around the same time at a local sale for a few dollars. Now, the big things I need are fork, seatpost, appropriately sized stem, handlebars, crankset and shift/brake levers. And chain. And cables. And pedals. Tires and tubes should be no problem. Those that came with the tires are old and unsuitable for the use I think this bike will get.
The frame’s seller told me she’d set it up for time-trials. While I have only the vaguest idea what that is, that Kinesis Air Foil front fork looks like it was designed for riding fast in a straight line on intact, smooth pavement. Thing I’m trying to figure out is whether the Kinesis fork has to be replaced with a 650b-specific fork or whether a more standard and more easily obtainable 700c fork will work.
Here are a few more photos of the Modikoso:
On another note, here’s something I drew goofing around with Sketchbook, I think it’s called, on an Ipad:
Last Thursday, I again rode through Normandy, this time arriving by roads I’d not previously ridden. On a bridge over the Duck River end of Normandy Lake under which I used to paddle fairly often, I stopped and snapped a couple of pictures.
Because I was hungry again by the time I got there, I stopped and ate a sort of second lunch at The River Café. Even though I was wearing tight-fitting cycling apparel, dripping sweat, and doubtless stank, and offered to sit outside, the waitress told me I was welcome to sit inside the restaurant. The day’s high temperature, oddly low for this time of year, was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I’d hoped to get a bowl of chicken rice soup but that day the only soup on the menu was tomato basil. Instead, I got a grilled Cajun chicken sandwich with a side of fries that tasted fantastic and was easy on my stomach when I continued my ride. Also, got a water bottle refilled. The friendly service and good food warrant return visits to The River Café.
I’ve written elsewhere about those lousy Kucharik cycling gloves I got last year; that they disintegrated within the first 90 days of use. What I haven’t written about yet is what Kucharik does well, and that is make merino wool cycling jerseys. Two Christmases ago, I received a bright orange Kucharik long-sleeve wool jersey. I asked for and got an Extra Large, but a Large would have fit better – I’ve tried to shrink it a bit in the dryer, and it fits a little better, now. My choice of orange has nothing to do with the University of Tennessee. It’s a color I’ve liked since the mid-1980’s. The jersey is comfortable, with sleeves pushed up, in temperatures to about 70 degrees, when worn with shorts, and is able to accommodate a base-layer for winter temperatures. Additionally, the garment does not retain the stink of my sweat after a hard ride. Highly recommended and can be purchased cheaper than elsewhere at Bike Tires Direct. No, I don’t receive any compensation from Bike Tires Direct, but lacking a conveniently located bicycle shop here at Stepford, they’re a good source of reasonably priced bike stuff and their customer service is second to none.
In regard to the color orange and, incidentally, Portland, Oregon, I recently emailed scans of a few small images to a friend who works at the unit where I completed my recent internship. She’d been working on a fish painting for one of the rooms in her house, and I remarked that the fish I have depicted tend all to have an orange cast to them – that their souls, if they have souls, are orange in color. The two larger images below are from or about my time in Portland.
The image of the mermaid, the fins or flukes of her tail behind her shoulders like the wings of a celestial being, I call The Angel of the Waters and she represents the Williamette River where the Fremont Bridge crosses over from North East to North West Portland – all of humanity is unaware of her as anything other than a body of water to be crossed or used. Her only means of getting the attention of passersby is to rise up and harm them, but in this image she exercises patience, refraining from doing harm but not wholly content to be ignored. Fish crownlike keep their places around her head – they are orange. I gave the original of this drawing to my younger sister for a wedding gift, if memory serves.
When I lived at Portland, I had a series of strange, frightening, and semi-recurring dreams – for a couple of weeks most of my nights were troubled by dreams each resuming where the other had left off. My second-floor apartment on North New York Avenue had a view of the Saint Johns Bridge. The image wherein can be seen the Saint Johns Bridge (perspective all wrong, by the way), the yellow house, and the hamadryad depicts a scene from one of these dreams during which I, my dream self, remained hidden during the hours of daylight to elude discovery by those who inadvertently served the evil powers that roamed the streets by night. As I sketched the image lightly in pencil, I realized the tree looked a little like a woman, so I developed that into the composition. As to what is written below, the allusion is to that part of Paul’s letter to the church at Rome in the eighth chapter that talks about the fallen state of the created order in relation to the redemptive work of God in Christ.
And then, a few marginal scribbles made during one of many time-wasting trainings (these in about 2004) while employed by the State. Fish – again fish – a recurring theme in my work.
Poster board is 40’” x 30”. Painting was intended to hang in a Decatur, Alabama shoe store the artist’s husband owned between 1961 and 1981. The artist signed the painting for me, but could not recall the year she’d done it. The letters the birds in the tree at right are holding stand for Decatur’s two high schools at the time the painting was done, so may serve to indicate the work’s date.
Last Friday, I bought a painting at day’s end from a lady who’d parked outside the office where I do some of my work. The front, right tire of her car had irreparably flatted when she parked against a concrete parking-stop. A woman from my unit and a man from maintenance had tried to help her get the tire re-inflated, and when that failed, had called a tow-truck. When a colleague and I saw the truck pull up, I went to the unit where she was waiting to get her, but she had already seen the truck and was on her way out to meet it.
When my supervisor and I left the building a little while later, we spoke with her. I noticed in the back seat of her sedan a large, unfinished but interesting painting on slightly weathered poster-board and asked the artist’s name. She said she had painted it some years ago to hang in her husband’s shoe store, in Alabama. She said she had always intended to “fill in the background” but had never got around to it. Because I had immediately liked the painting, recognized the artist’s talent, and knew the painting was complete even if unfinished, and because I had money in my wallet, I said, “I’ll give you twenty dollars for it if you’d like to sell it.” The lady demurred, and said I could have it. I did pay her for the painting, though, and felt good about my purchase.
The artist said she had been thinking about getting her pencils, paints, and surfaces unpacked so she could “release the artist” she said is within her. I strongly recommended she do just that, and we told her we’d like to see anything else she’d like to sell.