Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lean, mean racing machine

My next bicycle challenge is this Saturday when I enter the Opie’s Buick-Chevrolet McKinleyville Criterium.

This will be my first real race, not counting what I did a couple decades ago in the previous millennium.

I’ll be entering the “men’s beginner race,” which starts at 8 a.m. You circle around a flat .67 mile course for 20 minutes “plus a lap.”

Mighty Panasonic, ready for racing

In preparation for the race, I stripped down the Mighty Panasonic, as you can see in this photo. I removed the fenders, bicycle rack, Mickey Mouse bell and even the kickstand.

It’s now a lean, mean racing machine.

Well, maybe not. Compared to some of the fancy bikes I see on the road, the Mighty Panasonic is kind of old and clumsy.

But after putting so many miles on it, and tinkering with it, taking it apart and putting it back together, I have a fondness for my trusty steed. Eventually the Mighty Panasonic will be put out to pasture, but I think I can squeeze a couple thousand miles out of her in the meantime.

Having spent the last five months training for a 100-mile ride, I’m not sure how to even approach a 20-minute race. It’s kind of like the difference between a marathon and the 100-yard dash.

Frankly, I think the 20-minute race may be a lot harder than the Tour of the Unknown Coast – at least for me.

With the tour, I could fall back on my strength – endurance. I may not be the fastest rider, but I can keep on going and going and going. Since finishing the TUC was my only goal, this worked to my advantage.

But a 20-minute race is damn near a sprint. You need to pedal as fast as you can – for 20 minutes straight.

I tried this the other evening for 15 minutes. I pedalled as fast as I could while riding in the Arcata Bottoms.

It was tough and very challenging.

If I had time, I would train for this race by doing a series of timed sprints on my bike around the Airport Business Park.

I would do five-minute, 10-minute and 15-minute sprints three times a week over a period of a couple months.

But, hey, that ain’t how I roll.

So I’ll just show up and see what happens.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday commute to Smith River

Stone Lagoon

Stone Lagoon was sunny and inviting. Some elk, and maybe even a cougar, were probably hiding behind these trees.

Freshwater Lagoon

The haze was still burning off Freshwater Lagoon. The color version of this photo looks the same as this black and white version.

Orick Theater

The owner of the Orick Theater is an optimist. A few weeks ago the marque read "Ike & Tina Turner." The odds of them performing together again are about the same as Ray Charles playing the piano.


I wasn't the only fellow working today.


In the middle of the night, and sometimes the day, you can hear the cry "Elmer" when you're camping.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

'Double Crossed'

I came across this little film recently on You.Tube called "Double Crossed." It's filmed in McKinleyville and Trinidad. Two thumbs up!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Crazy idea #2,458

Street sweeper, rough

Here's an extremely rough sketch with a side view and front view.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Shifting gears

Not long ago I visited a local bike store and looked at a Trek Lime, similar to the one in the photo above.

Besides the iPodesque design, what makes the 3-speed bike unique is its “automatic transmission.” You never have to change gears because somehow the bike figures out what gear you should be in.

I don’t understand the technology, nor do I understand what’s so difficult about changing gears yourself – especially when you only have three of them.

But apparently the bicycle industry views gear shifting as something that a segment of the population finds difficult.

This isn’t a new phenomena. In fact, I recently discovered that my two old Schwinn Suburbans both feature a unique technology that – back in the 1970s or early 1980s – was viewed as a way to make gear shifting easier for the masses.

It’s called a Front Freewheel.

I was so unfamiliar with the concept that at first I thought my bikes had a mechanical problem. I figured the rear freewheels were somehow frozen due to rust. I used up a can of WD-40 on them and banged on them with a mallet, to no avail. I figured I would eventually replace them as soon as some old parts showed up at the recycling center. But why did the front chainrings spin, along with the chain, when I was coasting? That was certainly by design, not by accident. Why?

It was puzzling.

Eventually I brought up the topic in another blog and someone was kind enough to explain what I had.

The Front Freewheel simply moves the freewheel component of your bicycle from the rear cog to the front chainrings. When you’re coasting (not pedalling) the chainrings continue to spin and the chain keeps going around and around.

But why?

Because with the chain in motion, you can shift gears even though you’re not pedaling.

1982 Shimano Catalog - Front Freewheel

“Smooth FF System shifting can be done while coasting, back-pedaling, even with your feet off the pedals,” states this page from the 1982 Shimano catalog, which I downloaded from the Schwinn website.

Today I took one of my Suburbans out for my usual Tuesday route and put the Front Freewheel to the test. Everytime I shifted gears, I tried to remember not to pedal – which is the opposite of what you usually do before changing gears.

It worked just as advertised. As long as the bike is in motion, the chain jumps up and down the rear cog as you shift gears.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just make sure you’re pedalling when you shift gears?

No, that would be too complicated for some.

“Both young and old enjoy the convenience of multi-speeds, but many new riders have difficulty shifting correctly,” according to the Shimano catalog.

Friday, May 18, 2007

TUC photos

I dropped the ball when it came to taking decent photos of the TUC. Fortunately the site below does a nice job illustrating the ride:

Fred's Tour Photos

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tour of the Unknown Coast, Ride Report 5.12.07

The Tour of the Unknown Coast is touted as “California’s Toughest Century.” Being that the Saturday, May 12, tour was my first 100-mile ride, I can’t say whether the claim is true or not, but it was definitely a grueling route and by far the toughest ride I’ve ever done.

More challenging than the sheer distance was the 9,700 feet of elevation gain, including a ridiculous climb up a hill with an 18-22 percent grade. For me that bordered on unrideable. There was the added challenge of a horrible headwind, which made what should have been an easy, flat 8-mile section of the ride along the coast feel like an uphill battle.

Although the ride was tough, I have to resist the temptation to slip into hyperbole. The TUC isn’t an impossible, Herculean feat. The fact that I was able to do it proves this.

There were men and women of all ages on the ride. One fellow informed me that he was 64 years old and this was his first TUC and that the week before he had completed his first century in Chico. Then he pedalled off and left me in the dust. I never saw him again.

For most it’s a recreational fun ride. There’s lots of food along the route, the scenery is beautiful and you get to enjoy the company of people who share your mental defect when it comes to bicycling.

But it does require preparation. I can’t imagine completing the route without some serious training.


I suppose I began preparing for the ride last summer, even though I didn’t know it at the time. I purchased a pedal-assisted electric bike and used it for work and to get around town. That got my interested in using my regular bicycle. In a short amount of time I was logging four to 10 miles a day, four to six days a week.

By the end of the year I was not only bicycle commuting, but also doing some 20- to 25-mile recreational rides. When 2007 hit, I decided to make riding 100 miles in one day a New Year’s resolution and, soon after, I decided I would accomplish this goal by riding the Tour of the Unknown Coast.

And so began my “official” training rides. (For details on the rides I mention, see my blog archives.) I pedaled to Orick and back a couple times. I drove out to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and pedaled over the RNSP bypass. I climbed Kneeland.


When I had a routine checkup with my doctor, the topic of bicycling came up and it turned out he had done the TUC himself. He told me that the general rule of thumb is that if you can do what’s known as the Maple Creek ride, you can do the Tour of the Unknown Coast. So I did the Maple Creek ride two different times.

My biggest ride was 88 miles to Willow Creek and back. After I did that, I didn’t have any doubt that I’d be able to finish the TUC. My only concern was how slow I’d go and how often I’d have to stop and rest near the end of the ride. But that didn’t really matter because my only real goal was to enter the TUC and finish it.

The night before the ride I carefully packed my bicycle into my car and made sure I had everything I needed onboard, including tools, two spare tubes, bicycle pump, a helmet, two extra-large water bottles, raincoat, mittens and a camera. I also packed a giant Snickers bar, just in case the TUC rest stops ran out of food.

For dinner I ate a hearty meal of chicken breast filled with onions and bacon and served with a pile of whole-grain noodles. I washed that down with some red wine and went to sleep at 11 a.m.


I awoke at 5:15 a.m., brushed my teeth, slapped on my bicycle clothes and left the house. There’s no need for any fancy grooming when you’re about to ride 100 miles.

My first stop was the McKinleyville McDonald’s, where I ordered an Egg McMuffin, a McHashbrown and a large McCoffee with McCream and McSugar. That may sound like an odd breakfast to eat before an athletic event, but I wanted something substantial – with a lot of calories – that would keep me fueled up as long as possible.

In my experience, eggs and potatoes go a long way, while a healthy breakfast of fruit and oatmeal is almost worthless. Besides, I’ve been eating oatmeal since the year began and I’m sick of it! As of May 12, no more oatmeal.

I ate breakfast while driving and arrived at the fairgrounds in Ferndale at around 6:15 a.m. I registered, got my event T-shirt, returned to my car and prepared my bicycle. I greased the chain, double checked that I had everything that I needed and then slowly cruised around the fairgrounds to check out what everyone else was doing.


Before the “race” even started I was struck by a bad case of bicycle envy and doubts about the adequacy of my Mighty Panasonic.

Nearly everyone had fancy, expensive-looking road bikes. There were lots of new-looking LeMondes and high-end Cannondales. They were stripped down and outfitted with only small tool bags.

They were in stark contrast to my ride: an early 1980s steel road bike with fenders, a rear rack, panniers and an old Mickey Mouse bell. I was probably the only one riding a bike with moustache handlebars, and surely the only one with a kickstand.


Shortly before 7 a.m. riders began to swarm like bees at the starting line. Riders were coming and going and the excitement was building. I position myself near the rear. What’s the rush when you’ve got 100 miles in front of you?

TUC Start

Here’s a photo of the start.

Some guy on a loudspeaker spoke for a few minutes. I couldn’t hear a single word he said, but I’m sure it was all very important and informative.

Then everyone started moving forward – the race was on. With cyclists in front, in back and on each side, it was all very exciting. It reminded me of the movie “Breaking Away.” The adrenaline was pumping and I had an incredible urge to pedal as fast as I could, weave my way through the pack and make my way to the front. But that would be stupid. (And impossible, given the pros who were seriously competing.) I had stay cool and pace myself.


We made our way through the Ferndale Bottoms and the pack slowly thinned out. Some riders fell behind me, but even more passed me and pedaled off into the distance. Still, I felt like I was breezing along at a decent pace. I was nice and relaxed.

About 13 miles into the ride we came across the first “Aid Station.” It seemed way too early to stop for fuel, but since everyone else was doing so I went along with the crowd. I grabbed a bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies, ate one and stashed the rest in my panniers. Stopping here was unnecessary and a waste of time, except for the fact I now had emergency cookies on board. They could come in handy down the road.


Highway near Scotia

I breezed through Rio Dell and Scotia. Beautiful. The sky, as you can see, was dark and gray. I hoped it wouldn’t rain. Then again, if it didn’t rain, how could I justify carrying a raincoat 100 miles? Damn, I had overpacked! I even brought some extra bungee cords. What was I going to do? Use them to strap a chunk of souvenir driftwood from the Unknown Coast on my bike rack?

I passed through the Avenue of Giants and a thought occurred to me – I had pedaled through these exact same trees about a quarter century ago with my parents when we went on a camping trip. I had a teal-colored 10-speed at the time that I had fished out of a drainage ditch and fixed up. Here I am a quarter century later and I’m still doing the same thing I did when I was in middle school – fixing up old bikes and riding them around.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a full-blown aid station at mile 25 near Pepperwood. This was the turnaround point for cyclists in the 50-mile ride.

That Egg McMuffin was still keeping me going and I didn’t really need to eat, but they had bagels with peanut butter, so I couldn’t resist. I turned down the sandwiches and other goodies, which was hard to do. When people offer me free food, I usually indulge myself. It’s the polite thing to do.


From there it was on to the Bull Creek Road/Honeydew exit and then the Albee Creek Aid Station at mile 38. Up to this point the tour had been a relaxing fun ride with minimal hills. Everyone was in good spirits and nobody showed any signs of being tired.

That would soon change as the 6.8 mile ascent to Panther Gap Ridge was about to begin. Although everyone talks about climbing “The Wall” at mile 81.5, Panther Gap Ridge is the real killer with an elevation of 2,744 feet. You wind your way to the top, one switchback after another.

These climbs were a lot harder than State Highway 299 to Willow Creek and back. Those roads are designed for trucks. Although the elevation gain is substantial, the grades are not. The TUC route is brutally steep, narrow and peppered with potholes and gravel patches.

No matter how much training I do, such hill climbing is just plain difficult for me. I was sweating like a pig and my muscles hurt. There was really nothing to do but tuck my head down and keep on pumping. Every mile or so I would stop and chug some water.

Along the way a few riders got flat tires. One guy had broken spokes on a fancy wheel that didn’t have too many spokes to begin with. I suspect he was one of the first to take the sag wagon home.

About half way up I started getting hungry. And then even hungrier. The Egg McMuffin was wearing off.

At one point I asked a fellow rider how he was doing. He responded with a one-word answer: Suffering.


At mile 48.4 I noticed a large group of cyclists on the side of the road putting on jackets. Thank goodness! Even though it didn’t look like it, this was the summit. I piled on clothes for the descent, including a pair of mittens.

Man, was I glad I brought mittens. The descent was chilly, and even with the mittens my fingers were half-frozen when I reached the bottom. Not only that, but my hands and arms were sore from all the braking and maneuvering around potholes. In Honeydew other riders were talking about the same problem, so I wasn’t alone.

I refilled my water bottles and got back on the road. I was really looking forward to lunch at mile 63. After that climb I needed to refuel and get my second wind.


A full lunch was served at AW Way Park at mile 63. There was a woman ladling soup into paper cups. I grabbed a cup and a spoon and ate it standing up – I was so hungry I didn’t feel like wasting any time finding a place to sit. This was the best soup I ever had – a homemade vegetable soup with chunks of potato, corn and green beans. This wasn’t like that wretched Campbell’s veggie soup, which is cooked down to a disguting, watery mash. The veggies were nice and firm, some even crisp. Hats off to the chef. After the soup I devoured a tuna sandwich. Then I had a cream cheese/veggie sandwich.

The nice thing about the food was that it was prepared and wrapped up in tiny portions – with each individual sandwich being about one-third the size of a regular sandwich. They were small, but you could eat as many as you wanted. The bananas and bagels were also cut in half. This allowed riders to eat what they wanted without wasting any. I thought that was pretty smart.

Also, the food was delicious – not in the gourmet sense, but it just hit the spot. It was as if the person who planned the food knew exactly what my body desired along the way.

Being fed and watered on a bike ride made me feel like royalty. I’ll bet when Prince Harry goes on a bike ride, it’s something like the TUC – except shorter and with lots of hookers and caviar.


At the lunch area I thought about just laying down and resting, but decided against it. Why? Because of my strategy for finishing the race. My plan was to keep on pedaling. If I got so tired that finishing seemed questionable, then I’d just rest every half mile or so until I got to the finish line. This could be time consuming so I didn’t want to waste precious minutes at mile 63.

So onward I went. I had hoped that the lunch would give me a burst of energy, but it didn’t. I was still a little tired. Not horribly so, but enough so that I didn’t have any “spark” when I hit the hills. It was a slow trudge.

The scenery in the Petrolia area is spectacular. There were lots of nice photo opportunities on the ride, but I was focused on riding and didn’t feel like much of a shutterbug.

Shortly before mile 73 the course descends to the coast. It’s worth pointing out that the “Tour of the Unknown Coast” only includes about 8 miles of roadway on the actual coast, or at least near the beach. And that was just fine with me because as soon as I was on the coast I wanted to get off the coast due to a horrible headwind.

The wind was so strong I had to pedal along in low-gear as if I was climbing a hill. I was actually looking forward to “The Wall” so I could get out of the wind.


“The Wall” came at mile 81.5. I had mixed feelings at this point. I was somewhat relieved that I only had 18.5 miles left to finish the course. On the other hand, a good portion of that distance included serious – and steep – elevation gain.

The Wall

Fortunately I had driven out to Petrolia a few months earlier and pedaled up “The Wall.” That helped because I knew what to expect and I knew I could climb it without walking, but just barely.

When making such a climb, there’s an internal dialogue that I have with myself. A good portion of it includes colorful four-letter words, kind of like the scene in “The 40 Year Old Virgin” when the main character gets a wax job.

On Saturday I added counting to the mix, as in “One! Two! Three!” in time with my crank rotations. At one point I began to crave a cold soda and envisioned a tall, bubbly glass of Royal Crown Cola. I kept thinking about that soda as my knees strained to get up the hill.

Royal. Crown. Cola.

Pedal. Pedal. Pedal.

Royal, Crown. Cola.

Pedal. Pedal. Pedal.

Royal. Crown. Cola.

And so it went up “The Wall.” Not exactly deep thinking on my part, but a brainless mantra to keep me going.


I got to the top and descended down the other side. At about mile 86.7 there was an unmanned aid station with some jugs of water, oranges and some packets of something called Hammer Gel.

I had previously seen riders sucking on little plastic packets and noticed lots of them littering the roadway along with a large number of water bottles that seemed to have fallen off people’s bicycles. I thought the plastic packets contained some sort of sport drink, but it turned out they were a “Rapid Energy Fuel.”

I was feeling tired and decided to try one before conquering the “Endless Hill.” I squeezed a packet of banana-flavored goo into my mouth and washed it down.

“That was absolutely disgusting. It better work,” I told a fellow rider. He responded that if something taste that terrible, it will probably work.

Endless Hill

I can’t say whether it helped or not. I struggled up the “Endless Hill,” which you can see in this photo. There was a strong headwind the entire way.

The pack was really thinning out and several sag wagons went by filled with bicycles and riders. Part way up the hill there was another aid station. I drank water and devoured an orange.

A rider told me that his fancy watch – which monitored his pulse and God knows what else – informed him that he had burned about 7,000 calories so far. That explains the importance of food on such a ride.

After that orange – and the realization that I was close to the end – I got a burst of energy. I pedaled a little faster and, amazingly, passed a few riders.

Another sag wagon went by with lots of riders on board. I felt sorry for them, but I was elated not to be one of them.

At mile 96 I was at the top of the hill. I put on a jacket and gloves and reminded myself to be careful; I was almost done and the only thing that would stop me now was a bad crash.

I made my way down to Ferndale. There were no riders in sight behind me or in front of me. The streets were empty.

As I approached the finish line I was ecstatic and had an indescribable sense of accomplishment. I looked at my watch and realized I had finished the route in 10 hours and 55 minutes. If I was a better man I’d round that off to an even 11 hours, but I felt like I earned that extra five minutes somewhere along the route.

At the finish line there were two race officials. They were probably cold and tired after a long day as they greeted me with a lackluster “congratulations,” but I didn’t care. Then they explained that they had run out of the “100-mile finisher” patches, so I would get a patch that just said “finisher.” I wish they wouldn’t have told me that because I wouldn’t have known that there was a difference. But, frankly, I didn’t care at that moment and told them so. I was just happy as a clam to finish.

And that was it.

CP had wanted to greet me at the finish line but I talked her out of it. It wouldn’t make sense to drive all the way out to Ferndale and wait for hours upon hours in the cold for this, especially considering I couldn’t tell her when I would be done.

The parking lot was nearly empty. I put my bike in the car and then made my way to the promised “Mexican Buffet” at the fairgrounds. There was a table with raffle items. I checked my raffle tickets and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I won a pound of coffee. Bitchin!

At the serving table there was a pile of flour tortillas, a tray of some sort of meat substance, and a tray of beans. The server was apologetic, but I told him not to worry – just start scooping because no matter what he served me I was going to enjoy every bite. And I did.

On the way back to my car, about 25 minutes after I had finished the race, I saw another rider coming in. He was a fellow I had passed on “The Wall.” In those last 18.5 miles he had slipped about 30 minutes behind me. But he finished, which is what counts.


One of my first thoughts as I approached the finish line was how I wanted to do the tour again – but next time on a better bicycle. So my next project will be to fix up the Cannondale I picked up for free on

Next year I plan to beat my time by an hour or two.

I’m also thinking about doing some other centuries, although I haven’t explored my options yet.

My next bicycle adventure – not counting my day-to-day commuting – may be the bicycle race during McKinleyville’s Azalea Festival June 2. Stay tuned...

(Note: When I got home, I still had a bag of Famous Amos cookies and a Snickers bar. That was good, because after burning all those calories I got the munchies 24 hours later.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tour of the Unknown Coast

I got back awhile ago after riding the 100-mile course in a time of 10 hours and 55 minutes. With 9,700 feet in elevation gain, it was brutal – much harder than riding to Willow Creek and back.

It was a blast and I have lots to say about it, but I don't have the time or energy right now.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

McKinleyville Landscapes – it's happening

I’ve been thinking about and working on my idea to create a photographic record of McKinleyville’s landscape and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not only doable, but I should be able to complete most of the project within a period of two to three months in my spare time.

That may sound wildly unrealistic, and maybe it is. But keep in mind that I’m not trying to photograph every street and building in town.

I’m focusing on Central Avenue, commercial properties, large undeveloped and under-developed properties, major intersections, parks, public facilities and major infrastructure.

It’s an open-ended project with no end in sight, but I'll probably pop open some champagne and hang a “mission accomplished” banner if I photograph Central Avenue from Airport Road all the way to the U.S. Highway 101 Mad River Bridges. (Those bridges will get special treatment, being that Caltrans will tear them down and replace them in the coming years.)

I snapped a ton of photos Tuesday during my regular course of business. I did the same today. I uploaded them, provided a brief description (sometimes just in the title) and “geotagged” them. So far, more than 70 photos are uploaded and I’ve got a bunch more in iPhoto waiting to be processed.

What you want to do is click on the link I’m about to provide. This will take you to the “map” section of the McKinleyville Landscapes Flickr page. When you get there, click on the “satellite” option on the right and let it load. Then zoom in all the way. You’re best off exploring the central business district, aka Central Avenue, simply because there are lots of photos right now.

You’ll see dots on the various properties. Those are the photos. You can click on them and they’ll open up. If you click around enough, you should be able to find a way to download them. That’s not something you’ll want to do now, but who knows what the future holds. So here’s the link:


This is just a starting point. My goal is to have medium-quality jpeg photos for all the major properties on the site within the next month or two. After that I can start collecting higher resolution photos and/or better photos.

The neat thing is that each “dot” can contain multiple photos. So when Coast Central holds a ribbon cutting for its new building, I can upload that photo onto the existing dot.

Should a building burn, be expanded, repainted, etc., additional photos can be uploaded to the same location on the map. There are all sorts of possibilities.

There are probably better and more sophisticated ways to do this project, but I need to take advantage of this current burst of enthusiasm I have for it. Right now this is interesting; two weeks from now I may get bored, take on another project (maybe a welding class?) and drop this like a hot potato.

I’ve been thinking about how people might use this McKinleyville Landscapes page. As I previously wrote, its purpose is to provide a historical photographic record. People could view it to see how the town has changed.

History may take five or 10 years to unfold. But with a fire, earthquake or over-turned tanker truck, history can happen in an instant. I recall when the Fig's building burned several years ago and I didn't have any file photos of what it looked like before the fire.

But the site may have other uses. For example, people who used to live here and moved away years ago might get a kick out of looking at the page and seeing how things have changed. Perhaps an out-of-town investor is eyeing a property and would view the page to see how adjacent properties look.

Actually, who knows? I’ll build the site up and then advertise it in my paper and website and see if there’s any reaction.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Idea evolves (a little bit)

Here's a rough idea. The link below will take you to a Flickr page I created called McKinleyville Landscapes. The link is for the "map" page. Zoom in to the corner of Murray and Central. If you zoom in all the way you can click on the photos. It's a little sloppy, but it gives you an idea of what I'm thinking. (By the way, you you don't zoom in all the way, the photos seem to get grouped together.)

McKinleyville Landscapes map page

I'm still playing with the technical part of this project. Maybe there's a better site for hosting and "geotagging" photos.

Generic Tourist Shot.5.7.07

North of Martin Creek, Del Norte Cty.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Birth of an idea

Field east of McK Ave.

Why, you may ask, is this photo posted on my blog?

It’s not a work of art, nor is it visually interesting. It’s a mere snapshot of a field in McKinleyville. Rather dull, one might say.

But it represents the birth of an idea, one that I’m still pondering – a website documenting McKinleyville’s landscape. I thought about it when I stopped at this location this afternoon on the way home from work.

Maybe it would be a new blog, or just a “flickr” page where a couple photos a week could be uploaded at my leisure.

The idea would be to document the landscape as it is today. I would focus on Central Avenue and other areas of town that one can reasonably expect to be transformed in the near future.

I might slowly work my way from one end of Central Avenue to the other, taking photos of everything from Kmart to Sutters Mudd to Opie’s to the McKinleyville Shopping Center.

Nothing fancy, mind you, just clear photos showing what everything looks like today.

There would be a certain delayed gratification with the project because it would take some time before the photos would be appreciated.

Take, for example, the photo above. Boring stuff, eh? A waste of pixels.

But within the next couple years Heartwood Drive will slice right through the middle of that field. Then houses and apartments will start popping up. Pretty soon the entire field will be an asphalt jungle. It might take three years, or four years. Maybe five.

When the landscape is altered, this photo will be a historical gem. People will look at it and say “I remember when...”

The same would be true for photos taken on Central Avenue, or anywhere else in town.

This is something I wish I would have done when I moved here about 14 years ago. Remember Maggie's Burgers? Moon's Barbershop? The ranch that is now the Mill Creek Marketplace? The McKinleyville Senior Center when it was located behind the A-frame? How about when the Sheriff's office was located right next to the donut shop?

They would be kind of like the photos sent out by the Humboldt County Historical Society with its press releases – photos of downtown buildings at the turn of the century, old homes, lumber mills, farms.

I find those photos interesting, but when they were taken they were no different than the photo I posted above.

This is a simple idea, and one that could be done at my leisure a couple photos at a time.

After I get a few more things done, like putting out a paper and then riding in the TUC next week, I’ll put some thought into this.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Around town...

tattoo parlor

This is where I go to get my genitals pierced.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Big Lagoon.4.30.07

Big Lagoon.4.30.07

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