Medieval Wood Riving

Love seeing traditional methods of woodworking and framing. Great video here on making 8, 13 metre long rafters from one tree. Just how well these guys maintain their tools and edges alone is an art in and of itself.

Only way this could be any better was is if these guys rode their bikes out there and set up camp.

What I Think I Want You to Think About Me

I come across articles on the Internet all the time, daily, that I think “people have got to read this.” I share some of them, but I’m finding I share less and less. Many I just let them sink in and move along.

I remember reading a study some years back that determined people share content on Facebook and other social media sites not necessarily because they believe it, approve of it or even understand it, but because it in some way facilitates how they want to be perceived by others.

I want you to think I like the long articles.

When I Run, I Run Ugly

I’ve been riding bikes so long it’s easy. I don’t mean easy like I go out and crush Tour stages easy, but 99% – well, ok, maybe 85-90% of the time, when I’m suffering on the bike, I can find a way to make it work. I’m comfortable enough to find a way to get as much efficient power as I can, even if I’m barely moving, and keep from completely blowing up. I can ‘suffer comfortably’. I can ‘settle’ and know that mechanically, I’m doing the right thing, the best I can. When I run, it’s a gong show.

It sounds very ‘Bruce Lee’, but my ‘run technique’ is the presence of a complete lack of any fixed technique. That might imply a vision of fluidity, but it’s anything but. When I run, it’s a complete assault on my body – and mind. Everything is jarring and angular. Everything shakes and jiggles, including a lot that shouldn’t. There’s no ‘flow’. I plod. I lurch. I stumble. It’s like my feet are in a 4th grade playground fight with the Earth and are punching the ground. Every piece of advice I’ve been given and and every article I’ve read about running are simultaneously running through my mind like the images of violence flashing in front of our humble narrator Alex undergoing the Ludovico Technique. I can go for a 5k run and try 7 different versions of what I ‘think’ should be ‘running,’ all the while chastising myself that, really, as a species, we’ve been running since the dawn of time, so how is it possible for me to screw it up so badly.

I don’t know why I run. I tell myself – and other people sometimes – that it’s for the cross-training, the variety, sometimes I even lie and say I enjoy it. I think, really, it’s because it’s the quickest way for me to get uncomfortable. I can go for ‘bike rides’ and phone them in. I can cruise, spin and still maintain a pretty good pace over considerable distance without doing much ‘work’ – and sometimes it’s easy to fall back into that trap. Running, within 15 feet of the end of my driveway, I am positively miserable. And by that I mean, miserable in the best possible way. I know that I’m doing something I don’t really want to be doing – but doing it anyway. Unlike some other folks, I don’t need to go run a 100k desert ultra to ‘push myself out of my comfort zone’. I can do that handily within a 10k radius of my house. I hate to quote him here, but I think it was Lance who when asked why he liked to push himself so hard on the bike replied, “because it feels good when I stop.” There have been times when I’ve run on a pretty regular basis and have had periods where I started to feel somewhat confident and almost achieved the state I can so easily settle into on the bike, but for the most part I run so I can get it over with. For the feeling of accomplishment of having put myself through it and come out the other side. It’s kinda like Fight Club but with less bruising and cuts. I run for growth I guess, even if, during, it seems like I’m stunting it.

1971 Land Rover Series IIA

Not your Daddy’s Oldsmobile.

Stolen from my buddy Steve’s site.

Mine is not your conventional mid-life crisis. I don’t want the fast red sports car. I long for the slow, red truck that’s noisy and has no radio. No bluetooth. No heated seats. This particular one is a nice shade, has the additional cool tie-in of being from the year of my birth and even has a hitch receiver for the bike rack. Link to my gofundme page will be up soon…

Ancient Roman Roads Rendered as Modern Subway Maps

Roman Roads by Sasha Trubetskoy

From Open Culture:

It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly why these appeal to me so much but in part it’s because:

  1. The graphic designer in me has always loved this style of transit maps and the application of something familiar to something so ancient seems cool.
  2. Order. There must be order, in all things.
  3. I’ve always loved maps. Perhaps for the reason outlined in #2.
  4. There is a large part of me that would love to pack a bike with food and camping gear and disappear on these for an undetermined amount of time.

I realize that according to some of the notes on the maps, many of these roads no longer exist or have been converted to modern roads – but in my mind – they’ll always be cobbled trails and dirt cart paths. Don’t ruin it for me.

We Are Not the Thinkers of Our Thoughts

From a post over on kottke.org, Tiny Private Mind Motions

“Every morning, when I screw the lid onto my steaming thermos of coffee, I think to myself, automatically, the phrase “heat capture.” I have no idea why. I’ve never used that phrase in any other context in my life. And yet I couldn’t stop it if I tried. After years of this, I finally mentioned it to my wife, who revealed a similar habit: Every night, when she shuts the bedroom blinds, she thinks to herself the ridiculous words, “Sleep Chamber: Complete.” She said she kind of hates it because it makes her feel as if she’s living in an episode of “Star Trek,” but she has no choice.”

Sam Anderson, New York Times

I have this kind of stuff happening all the time. Has for years. Glad I’m not the only one completely out of control of what happens to pop into my head at any given moment.

Of course, I can’t think of a specific example right now, even after a few minutes of trying because the Universe has a dark sense of humour.

John Beargrease

Ben Weaver shared this poem via his email newsletter and it struck me such that I wanted to share it. I couldn’t find it anywhere online to link to, so I’m sharing it here. Do visit his website and see what he’s about, and perhaps join his email newsletter as well to have magic like this show up unannounced in your inbox.

John Beargrease – Written for Beargrease 2019

Even in the most remote nights
constellations are inherently
stories of relationships,
connected leaps of
failed domestication
hooking ground into sky.
Some of my ancestors were leaves,
flames, tamarack, and waxwings,
I feel their pull and hear their singing
through a fabric of organized chaos,
placed near the end of the rapids
sending a chorus of birch seed
and agate out on the tail
of each snow mote.
Don’t get thrown off the scent
mistaking simpler times
for lack of sophistication,
complex systems of mutual
dependency and survival
have always been woven
into the chains that bind life to earth.
The poverty of the current time is that
the miraculous leaps
between these links have come to be
considered burdens,
with curiosity and generosity held hostage
by a cultural entitlement to comfort.
When I hear the songs of my lupine
and snowshoe hare ancestors
I am pulled into the thick and pregnant
fog of the land, where I am told stories
that remember,
when news from the outside
world came down the trail
behind a human on a sled
pulled by four dogs moving
at the pace of the land,
it was not a liability
to have an open heart,
it was an act of wildness.

The Super Snow Moon, 2019

I saw this gigantic moon the other night. I didn’t know it was a thing, but The Atlantic says apparently it is and posted a bunch of photos of it.

The moon appeared about 10 percent larger than average as it approached its closest point in orbit, about 220,680 miles (356,760 kilometers) from Earth.

I was at home wading through the madness of trying to figure out how to get 2 kids 3 different places at the same time the next day and making lunches and I started to lose it a bit. Then to top it off the dog starts bugging me to go outside.

So I’m out, standing in the middle of my dead quiet backyard and it’s lit up like day because of this 1,000 watt moon and crystal clear sky, and I breathe deep and say to the Universe, ok, I get it now. I’m a nobody. My problems don’t mean shit. Thanks for the reminder. I’m just the luckiest bastard alive for even getting to stand here in the cold and stare up dumbfounded in awe at this massive, beautiful fucking moon.

I didn’t take any pictures of it. Crash and I just bathed in the glow of all that light reflecting off all that snow. Then we went back inside. That was enough.