THIRD SUMMER on the DL, now winding to a close. After nine weeks out, Pam went back to work at the bank today, part time. Her PT’s going well and she’s even back at the gym. Just doing cardio for now. The surgeon says weights are to wait.
It’s quiet now in the house. I’ll get some work done for King Features this morning and be out welding rebar in the afternoon.
D2 was yodeling in Switzerland this morning.
Here’s what happened at the Zurich Film Festival this weekend: Jenna arrives Friday for the premier of a movie she co-produced and is suddenly called upon to be the lead person, present the movie, give a speech, answer questions, etc. That had been the director’s job, until he was called home because of a death in the family.
D2, a very cool cookie unfazed by surprises. The joke around here is that she’ll produce all my scripts when I’m haunting my urn.
Her blab via email this morning: “And then at the end of the film I got up and the moderator asked me a bunch of questions, thankfully nothing I couldn’t answer! And then I had some audience questions, which were all positive and encouraging. I had a lot of people come up to me afterwards to say nice things and congratulate me on the film. It was a really nice experience!! Felt really strange to have people surrounding me and asking questions and wanting to talk to me, lol. But it was nice. I’m glad I did it!”
D3 and I saw the sun rise over the Atlantic Saturday, in Narragansett. We snapped pics for the cover art on my novel. I was back there Sunday for more. Got 94 pics Saturday, 135 yesterday and still don’t know if we have the right shot. D3’s evaluating what we have in PhotoShop.
Dad, if you ever make me get up this early again, I’ll give you such a karate chop!
I was up at 2 a.m. sharp to leave for the beach at 5. At 2:59 I was at my writing desk and heard a pack of coyotes yipping around in the neighborhood, probably after somebody’s cat. I say that only because our cats got up & went to the window and appeared to beam urgent cat-thoughts into the cat-ether. Run, Puff, run!
So much that needs doing here, which is why I’m not riding around the country with Doc Torman, our friend from Massachusetts. Doc sent me this pic Friday, just to kill me a little, I guess. Doc looks good on the new ride. Last time I saw him he was sitting around at home healing. He had wrecked in Virginia somewhere on his way north out of Dixie. Picked up a nail, rapid tire deflation at speed. People haul unsecured loads of demolition waste and never stop to think how careless they’re being with our heartbeats.
Heard from Steve Lyon in Los Angeles this weekend, he’s getting set to motorcycle up through Portland, north to British Columbia, Banff in Alberta, down through Glacier National Park in Montana, loop around the long way home through Utah, Colorado, more killing me…
Jonny the builder may still be somewhere on Long Trail, in Vermont. This weekend he was planning on covering 32 miles with one sleep in the middle. That’s an ambitious trek in that terrain even without a 40-pound pack. I loaned him one of my bear cans for stashing food downwind of wherever he rolled out his sleeping bag. Gave him a can of bear spray, too. Good to have on hand, even if you do know not to behave like prey when you run into Bad Mr. Teeth & Claws.
A bear killed a hiker in New Jersey last week. Four or five kids from Rutgers, I think it was. They took off running. So tragic. All they needed to know was to stay together, put their arms up, look big, back away slow.
When I wrote last week about riding to Labrador and Newfoundland next summer, I’d completely forgotten that Brad Barber and Jeff Bailey, our friends from Houston, are planning on timing a bike on the salt flats at Bonneville. Brad hopes to take the speed record for 250cc modified-frame, pushrod, gas-powered. He only has to go 94.001 mph to get into the record books, but that takes some doing with just a couple of dozen horses under you. He sent me a few pics Thursday.
The frame is off a 1970 Triumph T25W, modified into a hardtail & lowered.
Custom billet drive.
Starting out from Rhode Island, Utah is pretty much on the way to Newfoundland. Will see if I can swing by & see how fast Brad goes.
On Thursday I saddled up the iron piggy for a quick ride to Providence, lend a little moral support to my former colleagues at the Providence Journal. They were walking an informational picket line. Why? Because the old owners just cut a bunch of jobs on their way out the door with the loot, and the new owners walked in and announced more job cuts coming in January and February.
Well, we had a marching band, that was fun. Some other Projo expats like me showed up, Kerry Kohring, the great Salvatore “Sally Chips” Chiappinelli, and Brian Jones. Brian gave the piggy some free quarters for the parking meter.
I worked at the paper for going on 20 years, got done in 2006, just on sudden inspiration. Didn’t go back to work after lunch one day and have never for a moment wished that I had. I’m not at all sentimental about the institution, for things change & that’s the way of the world; but I do care about my friends still toting that barge, lifting that bale. They’ve carried on admirably.
I was hired in September ’86. By September ’87 the last Projo publisher who knew anything about journalism was dead. It’s been money-men ever since, scions of One Nation Under Mammon. If only we could make record profits without needing these stupid readers, employees, advertisers… Well, I like money, too, Mr. Suit, but it’s a lousy first principle.
On the ride to Providence, the iron piggy balked a couple of times on the highway. She’s been sitting out the driveway too long, must be annoyed with me. It felt as if she hiccupped on water in the tank. Or maybe something electrical has loosened up, haven’t checked it out yet.
Piggy’s 800 pounds get heavy when the power cuts out! When there’s suddenly no torque to stick into the ground she’s drawn to said ground as if by a magnet. I dropped her on Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick once, when she hiccupped in a turn.
Kerry snapped this picket-line pic of me and Sandor Bodo looking like a couple of priests contemplating Grand Theft Piggy. Just casing the vehicle for now, trying to blend in with the newspaper rabble, real stealthy-like. Don’t look at it, man! Be cool! Keep walking…
Sandor Bodo, the man with the coolest name in newspapering. On a willing suspension of disbelief I can see a Sandor Bodo piloting a Bird of Prey for the Klingon Empire, just my opinion. Federation tough guys would cringe to think General Sandor Bodo was somewhere out there in the quadrant.
But no, Hollywood hacks come up with General Chang, best they can do. Kung Pao Chicken would have been a more foreboding Klingon handle.
I close with a terribly washed-out & backlit sequence of pics I snapped on Saturday, just for nothing.
I’m reading. What do you want? You’re going to bother me. I can tell.
I say something charming, catch her off guard. Can’t remember what.
Tell her something else and make her laugh. Can’t remember that, either. See what happens when you ride motorcycles & whack your coconut in the street?
She urges me to find something to do. So I move to a different seat. Oh, she meant something else to do. And farther away.
Has read the same sentence a dozen times. Attempts to ignore me until I go away.
Doesn’t work, ’cause I talk to her some more.
It’s all over. Got her going now.
I do remember what I was riffing on here, but will have to be a gentleman and keep it private. It was at the expense of a beloved third party who’s always good for a laugh. Now you’re thinking, Some gentleman! Ah, yeah, well…
Usual outcome. She even forgot to take her Kindle this time.
Tony DePaul, September 29, 2014, Cranston, Rhode Island