Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Minor Loss

Last night I said goodbye to an old friend, sooner than I would have liked. My faithful Fuji bicycle, my partner in commuting for the last three years, was stolen while I was at the library. She was locked up securely, but not securely enough I guess.

Together we'd criss-crossed over 13,000 miles of Los Angeles pavement on my route from Hollywood to Santa Monica.

I hadn't put any money into maintaining it recently, so most of the components were worn to the ground. By the time I walked home from the library, I was already at peace about the loss. Nevertheless, I was also hoping that whoever yanked it would land on their head when they changed my worn out gears.

This morning I picked out another bike online, since it's the main way I get around. This time I wanted a no-frills, ultra minimal bike to beat up that won't be as enticing to thieves. I settled on this generic fixie that flips to be a freewheel, and includes two brakes.

I like the orange I ordered. But if I have two weeks that I don't need to ride it, I found a nice forum that describes in step-by step detail how to repaint a bike with a custom color.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Story of Stuff

Have you ever wondered where all the stuff we buy comes from and where it goes when we throw it out?

Annie Leonard presents a well organized, and thought provoking presentation of this system in crisis. Visit The Story of Stuff where you can watch the movie in 4 minute chunks, or all 20 minutes at once.

My favorite part is in her conclusion, proposing another way.

"Some say its unrealistic. Too idealistic - that it can't happen. I say the ones who are unrealistic are the ones that think we can continue with the old way. They're dreaming.

Remember, the old way didn't just happen. It wasn't like gravity that we just have to live with. People created it, and we're people too. So let's create something new."

If you can't stand listening to some 'tree-hugger' talk about 'the environment' then this video is definitely not for you... Oh wait, yes it is. You live on this planet too.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Captain Morgan

One day we were hiking and met two hikers heading south. We said hello and began to pass, when I noticed a purple goatee and handlebar mustache scribbled on the face of the second hiker.

I said to him, "Hey, I like that look," to which the first hiker replied, "Yeah, he's trying something new," referring to his 3-day stubble, after which he kept on moving in a determined manner.

A minute later, we met two more hikers who looked like they might be a part of the same group, so we asked if they knew the story with the ones we'd just met. We learned that the first hiker had scribbled on the second guy's face several days earlier, and no one had told him yet. They had been calling him Captain Morgan, and he said he liked that as a nickname.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Adjustment - Part 5 - Los Angeles

Last night Lauren and I were reviewing our trip photos and each of us got choked up in our own way. I was transported back to the excitement I felt in Georgia as a novice thru-hiker, and the thrill of hiking through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Lauren was missing friends from the trail who we share deep connections, and the simplicity of life out of a backpack.

So many memories packed into this summer.

And who could forget Maine? We both agree we'd like to be there right now and see what goes on in those small towns and outposts during the deep winter.

Instead we're getting back into inevitable responsibilities of town life, but approaching them with renewed appreciation and focus.

Lauren has been looking to get back into her educational background in food science, which she's been out of for five years. She got a break this week when a food processing plant near downtown called on her to test samples in their microbiology lab. After two days, so far, so good!

I have been looking for design opportunities, while continuing to pursue entrepreneurial projects through my graphic design company, Studiofluid. One highlight has been doing identity and design work for our friend, Matt, who we met on the trail. His seasonings company is top-notch, and I'll be highlighting it when our work is complete.

Apartment Views

Today we awoke to a fantastic gift on the horizon, the snow covered peaks of the San Gabriels. The following photos are taken from the living room window of our new apartment.

Snow Capped San Bernardinos

Although our apartment isn't furnished yet (we sold most of our extraneous belongings on ebay and most of our furniture on Craigslist) the stunning views from our windows make up for the pile of cardboard inside. For the moment anyway...

Griffith Observatory

We've been settling into a pretty nice routine back here in Los Angeles. Each morning Lauren and I have been waking up together and going for a 5 mile walk. We head out our door and into the hills, past the Observatory, where we take in views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding peaks.

Downtown Los Angeles

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Meandering to the Middle East

A Seafaring Gentile is a blog about a young man's adventures, discoveries and observations while traveling abroad in Spain, Morocco, Egypt and beyond. He also happens to be my younger brother.

When you get used to his writing style, his vibrant depiction of humanity is quite engrossing. I'm not sure how often he plans to update, but when he does the stories and photos are quite inspiring.

Be well, man. I'm proud of you. I hope you find what you're looking for and much more.