Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow turning to rain... Tickled to live in Plumas...home of Bodfish Bingo!

We moved to Chester twenty-five years ago from "the Valley", which lies 4,000ft. below and 70 miles SW of here. Securing a job in the forest and finding a modest place to live clinched the move. We set up headquarters in the "Mouse House"...600 sq. ft. of asbestos-sided, minimally insulated, orange long-shag carpeted, but affordable habitation on First Avenue.
My initial perspective on life was formulated below the pinkie finger, in the mitten, of Michigan. My wife, Lisa Jo, spent her youth in the suburban web twenty miles West of downtown Los Angeles. We calculated that we had the heartiness and social-indifference skills to thrive in a town that accumulates over twenty feet of snow most winters and has two thousand souls guided by no less than eleven churches...all Christian.
We have carved a lifestyle, built a comfortable cabin and raised a healthy/ self-assured young man in an environment that offers challenges and opportunities beyond those commonly found in a college town or in an American suburban setting.
This Northern California county called Plumas sits in the NE quadrant of the state. On a map Plumas looks very much like a resting Arabian Camel (Dromedary). Our town, Chester is conveniently located in the neck of the Camel. Water is not a problem in this, forgive me, "neck" of the woods. We have no less than Fifty lakes within a twenty-five miles of this basin. This fact has inspired me to develop a challenge I call "Bodfish Bingo", the lake-bagging game. Prizes for those who can "bag" the most lakes, also prizes for those who can bag seven in-a-row on the card I supply at my store Bodfish Bicycles. "Bagging" involves total immersion and bonuses are given to those who swear they jumped in naked. Witnesses not required.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rain turning to snow.
Following the developments in the American/World economy with great interest. Nothing I can do about it, true enough...but it's something to watch, it is unfolding fast and it's better to not be caught off guard when all of a sudden we can only gas up on Thursdays if our license plates end in an odd number. Reading James Howard Kunstler on Mondays and Dmytri Orlov on Weds. and Paul Krugman on Fridays...these observers of the predicament we "civilized" folks are in, are able to see into the future better than most.
The small bike shop should survive just fine...we work with our hands here and we are problem solvers. Bicycle riding still makes more sense than most activities we embark on daily and keeping the two wheelers rolling is our mission. Staying healthy and excited about each day is important work. Spreading this enthusiasm to the ones you love is also important...all this ties into something called Right Livelihood.
I can't change the world, but I can do little things to spice up my sphere of influence. Warmth, humor, love of family, a good bike ride and a skinny dip...what more can we work on in this life? It really is just this simple. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chunky Dunk Therapy
When you've accumulated more that your share of stress and worry...when crisis seems just around the corner, as my Mom used to say, " It's time to get out and blow the stink off of ya" A perfect excuse to get out and ride my bicycle. We rode 26 of the 31 days we were in Europe this Autumn. There was an added bonus to this trip; every other day or so when found the opportunity to plunge into a pool of clean water. This is not difficult in France, no one bats an eye when two humans decide to strip down and take a bath.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Last day on the New World continent for awhile. A flight to France for research and inspiration, road bikes coming with us. Leaving our NorCal life behind and in the hands of the very capable Colby Joe. What do we feel over there that we cannot find here? An ancient awareness that we are all interdependent, deserving of love and courtesy and a little extra space at the edge of the roadway, even if the macadam is narrow and unlined. The food and wine are precious and meant to be savored not engorged. Folks in the European countryside are uninhibited and adventurous, you might find that attitude here, especially in the West. The Med Coast is beautiful, a special shade of blue and appears pristine with a sandy bottom. Flowers pour out of planters and wallside containers in every alley or street of every small village...this is France and to a great degree it's the same in Italy and Spain. We get to retrace the stages of the Tour de France without the hammering of overhead helicopters and none of the roadslime of partying cycle racing fans.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So, what do you need, really? Good water, good neighbors, a fifty pound bag of rice, shelter from the elements...maybe an Element? Six years, maybe, and we'll be living much closer to the Earth. Growing food (and flowers) or helping others do the same. How many things will change when petrol costs fourteen dollars a gallon? Strong legs, good lungs, we all own many pairs of shoes, hopefully you own a couple of bicycles and spare tires and tubes to match. Eight years? People are not going to be looking at the "bright side" of basic living, don't want to imagine the temperament of those surviving in an urban setting. Find a place in the country...near drinkable water. Get to know your neighbors! Ten years? Anyone here with 2020 vision? A very different country I'm certain, so, what are you going to do to make life possible..and enjoyable for your family and friends?