The good is great, and the bad is crushing.

From time to time during the standard goings on in my life, I find that I can sometimes get lulled into a false sense of complacency;
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(That’s me in my corner office overlooking the Cascades.)

Though these feelings can be occasionally warded off by various activities, like say for instance, making a banana phone;
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generally, it takes something really mind blowing to pull me from my reality and shake up everything I thought I knew.

Today’s case in point was on Tuesday when doctors successfully completed one of the world’s first face transplants;
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Upon learning of this, I was heard to exclaim thusly.

Dallas Wiens is obviously an incredibly lucky individual who will go down in history as being at the forefront of medical miracles and I can’t possibly wish him well enough. It certainly is a touching story of a man who, with the assistance of an incredibly gifted surgical team, pulled off something which has rarely been seen before.
For their myriad of faults, human beings really are incredible machines.

Of course this feat, along with other examples of medical and technological wonderment leaves me curious as to when mankind will finally see the day in which alcohol will be good for you.
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If it can be dreamt, it can be done.

And speaking of dreaming and doing, it was October 30th, 2008 when I first premiered Red Fang’s epic video for their song Prehistoric Dog on How To Avoid The Bummer Life. At that point it had a mere 42 views, and it was we who knew this band of miscreants was poised for world domination.
Well, keeping in tune with the out of tune, the dirts from PDX have released their second video off their new album ‘Murder The Mountains’, and it’s every bits as great as the first. It’s with pride and a wilted liver that I present to you WIRES.

I never had any doubt that they would come back swinging.

Getting into the mail bag for a second, and though it has nothing to do with medical breakthroughs, or practical spending, Jon made contact with news of his completion of a long and dirty;

“Hey Stevil,
I know most of your people are out there on the west coast, but there are a few of us in the corn and pigshit keeping it rad and staving off the bummer life. Here’s some pics of me with the Schwarzmarkt kit at the end of a 322 (actually ~340) mile race on gravel, mud, and dried tears.
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Photo courtesy of S. Fuller.
-JW”

Good looking out, man. After 340 miles I can only say I’d be able to relate to the dried tears.

One thing I can say with complete honesty that I relate to is a love for coffee, and Matthew came through with photographic evidence of a cup I’d like more than any other before it;
“Thought you would enjoy this: A Penta-latte from Fremont Coffee in Seattle;
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Both of us were wearing spandex whilst drinking said satanic fuel.
-Matthew Sipple”

The only appropriate way to drink such a beauty would be while wearing a black cloak with pinkies and index fingers extended.

In news of beautiful people wearing expensive clothes while drinking imported beer, Mr. Blacksocks adjourned to the Big City recently (that’s San Francisco mind you, and not any of the other big cities) to partake in the exclusive opening party at the new Rapha Boutique. Curiously, Captain Rapha Slate had invited me to the throw down (he must be looking to include a distinct homeless element to his brand), but due to unfortunate circumstances, I was unable to attend.
Lucky for us, Blacksocks himself penned a report of sorts which I will provide to you now;

“First off, it took forever to park the CAR (I know…). Fortunately I was on the real guest list, perhaps for the first time ever, though apparently some other “VIPs” crashed the gate. So it was in fact a genuine party.

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Wine and snacks and beverages aplenty. Mmmm. However I did not spot any wizard staffs. 🙁

The full spectrum of Bay area bike luminaries lit up the room which was well appointed with Rapha’s finest appointments. Man they really do make some fine kit. If I shaved my legs I’d buy more of it than I have already. #christmastimeiscoming #dontwanttodragthebranddownwithme

Did I mention that the incomparable Sky was tending the beverage bar? She served me up a robust Cabernet which pared nicely with the Jellybeans I was had in my pocket…
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Outside, the ever-loving Lee Jakobs was holding court and reveling in work well done, while the food truck served up some tasty grilled snack foods and we all basked in what will go down as the warmest night ever in San Francisco. It was really just a sweet chance to hang out and be in perfect company. No sales pitches or glammy spiel about product and whatnot. So nice.

In all it was a smashing evening. Mind you I didn’t get smashed like I did that time at ye olde Swobo party ( still sorry about the carpet there, tim) but I’d like to think I’m a grown man now who is capable of holding his wine and beans with the best of ’em.
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Really glad that Slate and the crew were generous enough to extend an invitation, and I encourage folks to go check out the shop. You can’t argue with the love of cycling culture in any form and I tip my trucker hat to everyone at Rapha for putting down the cash and energy to bring more bike mojo to SF.
Humbly
Theguywhowenttothepsrtyinyourplace”

It sounded like a true night of beautiful people rubbing their beautiful elbows together and I’m sorry I missed it, though I can say with certainty I would have eventually been invited to leave anyway.

Then going from Northern California, all the way to the Ozarks, Ken sends in a few words and one sublime image;

“A bit of fodder. Oh, and socks in Arkansas.”
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Correct socks on the right feet. That makes me feel good.

Now I will include a quick tease of what was awaiting my eager hands outside my front door on Thursday afternoon;
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Bikes and bubble water? STFU.
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It was certainly a welcome distraction, as upon its arrival I had to return to the emergency veterinary office where I found myself in the unenviable position of having to make the final decision to put my cat to sleep.

The highs couldn’t be any higher, and I’ve never known such profound lows.

For my part, I feel lucky to have a very limited relationship with death, and at this point I’ve knocked on wood after thinking that so many times I’ve turned the fixtures around me into little more than piles of splinters. But to be face to face with the doctor and ultimately hear myself verbalize this call was more excruciating than any physical pain I’ve ever known.
He has been a good friend, and an amazing companion and more than anything I am scared of the hole in my life that his passing is ultimately going to leave. As I type this, his time is running out and I have to sign off in order to make the trip in to say goodbye for the last time.
I love you Big Cat. Thank you for everything.
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29 Responses to “The good is great, and the bad is crushing.”

  1. cary May 13, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    Wizard Stick Cat Head.
    Drink hard then ride harder.

  2. Justin May 13, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    Sorry for your loss, Stevil. That really is the worst feeling in the world. I don’t care what some people say about cats; they’re every bit as much of a fixture in a family as a dog can be.

  3. Paul May 13, 2011 at 6:15 am #

    I’m sorry, my man. It’s always hard saying goodbye to a friend. My condolences on your losing a true furry badass.

  4. Zach May 13, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    Sorry bout your cat, that blows.
    On a positive note, I love that they slapped a shock sticker on that box. That’s prostyle right there.

  5. Admiral Longpour May 13, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    Tailwinds, fuzzy buddy. Admiral Longpour and the rest of JVA will hoist a pint for Big Cat. Long-distance brohugs, Mr. Knevil.

  6. Gypsy May 13, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    I like most animals more than I like most people… I am very sorry for your loss. First beer is on me at Interbike this year.

  7. billy May 13, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    I’ve been there, Steve. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  8. Crank May 13, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    My deepest sympathies to you and know that big kitty shall weild the hammer of Thor on all the mouses in Valhalla. My kit of 19 years went down last December. Buried her kitty coner in the back yard. The dogs still run to that spot first thing every morning. I know it hurts, but when I get old, feeble, and half blind I hope to be put down humanely myself. It would suck to leave the world the way you came into it, bloody and screaming.

  9. Ryan May 13, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    Sorry about your cat bro.

  10. Case o' Beer May 13, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    Did the same for my cat just a couple of months ago. Total fucking mess afterward. That guy saw more of my adult life to that point than any other living thing. Crazy. Here’s to your warm fuzzy, he was friendly, even to strangers in the night.

  11. Kris May 13, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    Sympathies to you, Stevil. Ride on and remember long.

  12. Sir Dickinhand May 13, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    JEEEEZUS HERMAN KRYST, RED FANG!

  13. broseph May 13, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Such a good post. Funny. Inspiring. Rapha I can take or leave. But holy shit a penta-latte?! And then the melancholy of saying goodbye to a loved one in a dignified way. Great job. I’m going to ride so much bike tomorrow.

  14. Josh RVA May 13, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    Wow man sorry to hear about the kitty. We’ll be doing that with one of our dogs soon. I tell myself that the depth of the pain indicates how good the love was… sorta works.

  15. georges May 13, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    I am sorry to hear about your cat- the right thing can be the hard thing to do. I hope your memories last forever and a day and the pain passes with the quickness.

  16. HansInColorado May 13, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Put my dog down a couple years ago after having him since the 4th grade. Never cried harder than that, even at funerals of people Ive known. Fuzzy buddies are the best, sorry for the loss of yours.

  17. 333f May 13, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    sorry for your loss. i try not to think about when the day will come for my best (furry) friends in my life. i will have drink for Big Cat tonight.

  18. Scott May 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    The more people I meet the more I miss my dog. He’s dead. It’s probably too soon, but there are a lot of cats that need a home. I’ve rescued a few strays in my neighborhood. Some have gotten adopted, a few I released after they were spayed/neutered (just too feral to be adoptable). Oaktown has no shortage of cats in need.

  19. irishpunk59 May 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    sorry to hear about El Gatto Magnifico Steve it’s always hard losin a buddie will hoist one in memory. thanks for the redfang though the Boy and meself home sick and that just bout makes it ok

  20. sarah May 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    i’m sorry about your kitty, stevil.

  21. wheeless May 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Meow.
    Red Fang vid fondly reminds me of safeway produce debauchery back in the day, Milk cartons too. I was laughing out loud when they checked out 80 gallons. Of my limited memories, safeway loading dock with u are etched in there deep.

  22. Andy Reimer May 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Yup. First round is tipped to the Big Cat tonight. There is no doubt that his life was made richer by having you as his person. Ultimately the joy of having a pet is still greater that the pain of loosing one.

  23. Christo May 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    Here’s to big cat getting rad in the next incarnation.

  24. Chazu May 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    Moments in time are unique. He will always be with you. What once was, cannot be undone.

  25. Jen May 14, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    I’m so sorry about your cat, Stevil. Been there, will undoubtedly be there again someday. For all the cat hate in the world it’s nice to know there are guys like you who respect these awesome creatures. I’m sure another will find you when the time is right, and it won’t be the same, but it will help. Peace.

  26. Loren May 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Ouch, sorry to hear about Big Cat.

  27. ferd May 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    ima have a drink in honor of big cat.
    rest in peace, cat-brother.

  28. Amy jo May 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    I’m teary for you. I went through that same experience. Thanks for sharing a small bit of his legacy with us. BIG CAT!

  29. Scott May 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your cat. I had the misfortune of having to put my oldest little kitty to sleep on Monday. I miss her a bunch.