Ladies & Gentlemen … Nate Beaty!

November 25th, 2010

As part of this thing called ESCAPE FROM THANKSGIVING, here is an interview I conducted with Nate Beaty, super-genius and close personal friend. For my latest novel, THE CANNIBAL’S GUIDE TO ETHICAL LIVING, Nate Beaty drew fantastic illustrations of thirteen disgusting meals.

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Happy Birthday, Brady!

October 10th, 2010

Where's Brady?

Everybody loves Brady!  I don’t live as close to Brady as I used to, so every visit is special.  And today is Brady’s official Heptatrideccenial Jubilee — the perfect day to take a tour of our beloved Brady.

Coffee Project: epilogue

July 17th, 2010

A puppet of coffee

I owe you all an explanation.  Didn’t I quit drinking coffee?  Why am I now spotted every day with a mugful of the stuff in my vibrating hands, or a headful of it in my erratic behaviour?  (More than one person has busted me on this — which is funny, because I didn’t think anybody reads this blog.)

Yes, I’m back on the sludge.  All day, every day.  It’s been like this since I began work on my current novel in April.  I found I simply couldn’t get work done without it.  How sad is that?

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100 Miles Later …

May 19th, 2010

Jetstream Peloton by Gabriel Amadeus

… we made it!  Ten of the eleven members of Team Jetstream reached the beach, on nine of our ten tallbikes.  (Sadly, Doc was hobbled by knee issues and had to take the sag wagon.  Those issues didn’t stop him from throwing beer at me when I reached the finish line.)

We started together at 6:30 AM, but soon split into Team Fast and Team Slow, with myself in the latter pack.  I got to the finish around 6 PM, so that’s a good eleven and a half hours to travel 104 miles — slow but steady.  About 3000 bicyclists rode in this year’s Reach The Beach; 2900 of them rode past me at some point.  Nearly a thousand of them asked me how I get down from that thing.  But I finished in front of two other tallbikes on our team, including the behemoth tandem captained by Max Taint with no stoker.

It almost didn’t happen; my three-speed rear wheel began to self-destruct a week before the event!  Even worse, my replacement 7-speed internal SRAM hub arrived with pieces missing.  Kudos to Aaron’s Bicycle Repair in Seattle for stocking the obscure sub-parts my obscure part needed.  I got the wheel built on Thursday and spent Friday riding off every curb in my neighborhood, testing it for strength.  On Saturday I rode it 100 miles, and it’s still straight as an arrow.

My butt hurt like hell, but three days later I feel just fine.  It’s remarkable what you can learn about your body by torturing it.  The team training rides we did this month were very helpful.  Last night I spent about an hour stretching out my sore, stiff body, and I noticed my legs have gotten larger.  Weird.

I would like to publicly thank my sponsors: Skeeter, Fiona, Patty & Ralph, the Vosaclos and the mysterious “Oxygn luvr!”  Together we raised real money for a great cause.  I’d also like to thank all the members of Team Jetstream for rallying with great purpose and effort around one of my most far-fetched ideas.

I suppose I should mention at this point that I have an article about tallbikes in the latest issue of Momentum Magazine, and that I’m organizing a tallbike picnic on June 26th in Portland, as part of Pedalpalooza.  Can’t get enough of them tallbikes, I guess.  (Although I haven’t been up one it once since I crossed that finish line.  Walking … I love walking … )

Jetstream Peloton needs YOU!

April 27th, 2010

Just got back from a great training ride on the tallbike:

Lake Oswego / Oregon city training ride

Myself and the members of Team Jetstream are preparing for a one hundred mile tallbike ride on May 15th.  Several hundred road riders will join us for the 20th annual Reach The Beach fundraiser ride for the American Lung Association.  They will all ride normal bikes, because they are pussies.  But we will ride the tall, proud, heavy, awkward, janky love-machines that we built ourselves … because we’re stupid.

Now, I’m just as sick of being asked for donations as anybody.  So just let me say this: the ALA is a great organization. In their advocacy for clean air, their work in smoking cessation, and their contributions to asthma research they have acheived much with little.  If you have lungs — and I know you do — then you really ought to take a moment to learn about what the ALA has been doing on your lungs’ behalf.  Here’s their website.

If that’s too boring and wonky for you, then just take my word for it and visit my fundraising page.  I’m sorry it’s so spectacularly ugly, but that’s a great example of the ALA’s frugality: they could have spend donor’s dollars on a fancier website, but they said “no, we’ve got to spend that money on lungs.”  Lungs like yours and mine.  Delicious, pink, juicy lungs.  Mmmm.


In all seriousness: my mother suffers from smoking-related emphysema, as did her father before her. It’s no fun — it’s a slow, irreversible slide.  In her golden years, she has to lug an oxygen bottle around whenever she leaves the house.  Mom and Grandpa came from an era in which tobacco company claims of the healthfulness of smoking went largely unchallenged.  They used to give away away free cigarettes at colleges during finals week — that’s how they hooked Mom.

Today we’ve come to a broad societal consensus of the tremendous dangers of smoking.  People still smoke, but they certainly can’t claim it’s for their health.  Thanks to the ALA, nicotine is finally regulated as a dangerous, addictive drug.  The ALA is doing everything they can to prevent smoking, to help smokers quit, and to protect non-smokers from smokers’ smoke.  That’s what they spend your donations on.

That’s my pitch.  Here’s my fundraising page again.  Take a deep breath and click.

Big Apple Attack!

April 13th, 2010

Tomorrow I fly to New York City.  If you see this bike, you know I’m nearby:

Guest List!

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LIGHTBAR presents: Words & Music & Snacks & Drinks with Franz Nicolay & Mykle Hansen

April 2nd, 2010

Franz Nicolay

Come visit our living room for a relaxed evening of stories and songs from writers who musician, hosted by Mike Daily, Portland’s maddest word-scientist.
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Leprechaun Trap!

March 17th, 2010

My ten-year-old daughter disbelieves in Santa, the Easter Bunny and God. But every year, on the evening before St. Patrick’s Day, she sets a trap for leprechauns.

Here we have one bottle of Maker’s Mark (the only whiskey in the house), surrounded by bills, coins and four-leaf clovers that she’s collected over the year. That’s the bait.

Surrounding that, barely-visible, is a border of double-stick adhesive tape laid out on white paper, and a second ring of double-stick tape around the neck of the bottle. That’s the snare.

Unfortunately, this morning we found the empty bottle tipped over on the table, and all the remaining bait stuck to the tape! Fucking leprechauns!

But Happy St. Patrick’s Day anyway …

Alaska POSTPONED, again, shit shit shit shit shit …

March 6th, 2010

Arrrgh!  Sorry, sorry, sorry … again it’s happened that we must postpone this shot.  Sarah Palin can’t make it; something about a bowhunting appointment.  And I personally am caught with my pants down because I just got back in town.  For all of you who were able & planning to make it, please accept my apologies.
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Snazzy Portland vs. Cold Alaska!

March 2nd, 2010

Attention volunteers, weirdos and northern soaks!

Believe it or not, folks, but Snazzy Portland is still in production.  Like a grizzly bear, it takes long naps and wakes up HUNGRY!

We are now planning our third group-shot for the video, set in scenic ALASKA!  We’re very tentatively planning this shoot for SUNDAY MARCH 7.  (At this juncture it’s hard to be sure about the weather, so we will re-confirm or reschedule later this week.)
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