I’m having an existential crisis.


How can I continue doing this that I do here? Of course I owe it to my advertisers, because besides being my friends, the bottom line is that I’m financially obligated to them.

Two huge personalities in my life have just died, a huge portion of the north bay has burned/is burning leaving almost 3,000 residences burned, 31 dead, over 500 missing, over 20,000 forced to evacuate, and over 100,000 acres blackened;

The air outside of my house is thick with caustic smoke, and ashes of people’s lives are falling to the ground like snowflakes. This of course is minuscule in comparison to the millions of people in Puerto Rico who thanks to our absolutely ineffectual and impotent Federal government are literally drowning in a humanitarian crisis, the likes of which this country has never seen.

And that is just the icing on the candles on the cake.

How can I stand here day after day and act like I’m unfazed by it all and continue on as if everything is going to be ok?

I guess the simple answer to all of this is I can’t. The world has bent me to a place where though for now I remain unbroken, I feel scarred beyond recognition.

Do I use this vehicle as a tool of catharsis? Do I use it as a tool to bring people together? Does it even matter?

I’ll tell you one thing of which I’m absolutely certain, and that is I don’t know.

I suppose one thing I do know, at least for now, is that my OCD won’t allow me to give up the ship quite yet, so for as long as I have two fingers and an inkling that what we have here makes even a modicum of difference for the better, I’ll keep at it.

With all of that being said, I’d like to direct your attention to the momentary distraction that is John Tomac;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17mNrYE_2CM

To say I adore him would be a painful understatement;

As a slight side note, have any of yinz ever heard Watts Dixon song-like voice?;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEd91xF6eC0

I emailed him just after watching that Tomac piece and mentioned I didn’t realize he and Tomac both share the same vocal cords.

So apparently there’s something about that particular vocal quality that is somehow also related to being a badass on a bike;

I gotta start talking like that.

Not necessarily relating to Watts, Tomac, but to riding bikes to the best of your ability (while possibly dressed as a banana or some other oblong object), I mentioned on Monday that the second annual Pauloween event is right around the corner;

There’s no pre-registration required, you don’t need a USAC license, and the entry fee is simply a promise not to be a dick.

Mark your calendar and make your mothers proud.

In news that nearly promises to help makes folks feel a little better, Colorado weather radar his captured a butterfly migration;

My mom has told me a story a number of times from when I was a real little kid of two or three years old.

She said she was working inside the house when she heard me belt out a series of blood curdling screams. She dropped what she was doing and ran outside only to see me in the front yard covered in butterflies.

It seems as though while I was puttering around doing whatever three year old do (touching pieces of grass, looking at ants, and then eating pieces of grass, and eating ants), a monarch migration blew through and trapped me in the middle of it.

Unfortunately I have no recollection of these events, but it would certainly explain, at least in part, why I’m distrusting of the little critters.

Because nobody ever suspects the butterfly;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ_Pfuj9wPE

Now, in news of AHTBM business stuff, I would like to offer a belated thanks to Bicycling Magazine for recently and thoughtfully including some of my little 7″ record do-dads in a recent ‘stuff’ spread;

For those who possibly aren’t in the know, it was with cooperation with Paul Component Engineering that I had these made, and they are as fine as you’d imagine them to be.

If you wanna pitch them plastic 7″ adapters that you use to spin your dumb little records, and pick up one of these machined, and laser-engraved numbers, all you gotta do is go here;

I can’t promise that they’ll help your taste in music be as awesome as mine, but they can’t hurt.

Finally, I would like to mention that on Sunday our slow roll and potluck has been changed due to bad air conditions. The ride has to be cancelled, and because of park closures, we’re not entirely sure where the potluck will be located;


Wherever we end up, we’ll be bringing food to enjoy, so if you’d like to bring some of your Gramgram’s famous Vienna sausage and pump cheese casserole, all who would like to attend are welcome. I will update info here as well as both the AHTBM FB page and the Instant Grahams.
*Update- The entire thing has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Perhaps this event will offer me some semblance of closure/peace, and I can figure out just where the hell I’m going with my life.

I wouldn’t bet on it, but as long as there’s a maybe, I still have hope.

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15 Responses to “I’m having an existential crisis.”

  1. Nevid October 13, 2017 at 4:31 am #

    Two wheels moving and Four wheels Grinding. Keep up the Good work… Come to the Middle of the Country for a Few Daze… We’ll help take your mind off things for a bit…

  2. doubt October 13, 2017 at 6:33 am #

    Thanks for keeping this truck going even as you get put through the wringer. Your perspective/message/ramblings/art/poetry(?) are a force for good in this overwhelming world. I have never met you but I feel like I love you. Keep it up brother.

  3. Smithhammer October 13, 2017 at 7:40 am #

    Whenever I think it’s all just gotten too bad to bear, I try to place my existential angst in some sort of historical context. Imagine living in medieval Europe with rampant disease, open sewers, a pompous and untouchable aristocracy….or hell, imagine looking up from tending the garden in your village and seeing 10,000 Mongols headed your way at full speed and knowing full well what comes next. These snippets of how much worse life used to be help me feel slightly less shitty about my present situation. Of course, they also remind me that it doesn’t take much to go back to that…but in the meantime, I have a few awesome bikes, a roof over my head and a woman who loves me. That’s more than a lot of people have ever had, so drink up and ride.

    • Stevil October 13, 2017 at 8:24 am #

      I was once told to never compare your own plight against another as that does a disservice to what you’re going through at that moment. True, it could be worse, but it doesn’t change the fact that in the here and now, it’s certainly not better.

      • Smithhammer October 13, 2017 at 10:18 am #

        Yeah, not sure I totally agree with that. I think it can be really helpful (and healthy) to get outside of yourself and look at things in a broader context for some bigger perspective. But of course, it only works when you’re ready for it. Good luck with the healing, Stevil.

        • Smithhammer October 13, 2017 at 10:19 am #

          And, I was referring more the to the “state of the world” stuff. The personal losses are always the harder row to hoe, as I’m finding out these days as well.

          • Stevil October 13, 2017 at 10:36 am #

            *Bunches of fist bump emojis.

  4. Jason October 13, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    My flight was cancelled this morning but I got on another one for tomorrow. Cranky the Clown will be there for Sunday- for sho

  5. jay October 13, 2017 at 8:32 am #

    Let us see the bike as the ultimate tool that keeps our world in check:

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/pregnant-woman-bicycle-santa-rosa-fire-charity-12271693.php

  6. Jman October 13, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    It matters.

  7. Luci October 13, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    Stevil,

    The hits do keep coming, and they won’t stop. Working through stuff, while also doing your normal stuff, all in one blog? That’s you being genuine. It’s being real, and it makes what you do more meaningful. You aren’t just selling some bike crap, you’re connecting with the world, your community AAAAND selling bike crap. To use a sappy social worky phrasething (it’s what I do), you’re planting seeds, and you may not see them grow, but they are there just the same. Virtual high fives, and heartfelt hugs from the middle world. You are doing good. xoxo-Luci

  8. tsp October 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

    If it helps any little bit, rest assured that those of us on the receiving end of these innertubes are grateful for the gravy that keeps a lot of us going, week in and week out. Sure, sometimes we all get stuck in living a bummer life, but remember, none of us who visit this place is alone. I remember meeting your digital acquaintance back in your days of SWOBO, and you continue to shine the light on what would otherwise be less of a life. Point being, AHTBM, and its particularly vivid and blunt pov are greatly appreciated. Like i said, its gravy. Damned good gravy. Better days are ahead.

  9. Bushmills October 13, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

    Thanks for all you do! You add a little sanity to the world

  10. hellbelly October 14, 2017 at 4:29 am #

    Sometimes the set of shit waves seems endless, but just dive down and keep paddling. It’s odd for me to employ a surfing analogy as I haven’t surfed in years, but that’s what I have this AM. Go for ride on bike or skate or create something and you’ll feel better. Otherwise, you’re always welcome to come down south and sweat it out, grab some bbq and laughter. Georgia’s fine and NC crazy ass Watts ain’t too far up the road. Party.

  11. Sue October 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

    Never doubt for one minute that what you do matters and it DOES make a difference for some people. Read these responses if you doubt it. Believe me, dear son, you do make the world a better place, one word at a time.