Good deeds

We here at Surface Tension are not all about angst and mayhem.
There are good words to be had here.
Like the good thing that happened last weekend, where more than 3,000 people participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in our fair city. There were 111 teams who walked and ran laps around a quarter-mile track to show support for those battling cancer – and those who had lost their lives to the disease.
I did 158 laps.
That’s 39 miles.
And that’s nothing. Carl, a member of my Redding Mountain Biking team, walked 50 miles (to do so, he stayed up for more than 24 hours).
In all, more than $423,000 was raised (RMB raised $9,000 on their own).
Carl and I raised another $200, which will stay in town to help buy wigs for cancer patients through the ACS wig program, when we shaved our head on stage.
We decided, since it was coming off, we’d color our hair. Actually, we bleached it. It was strange.
I was at the event for 26 hours. I slept like two. It was a very moving experience.
I did it for my mom.
I think she would have been proud.

It's expensive to be cool

There’s need, and then there’s want.
I’m a good wanter.
But I don’t need much to make me happy.
Still, try explaining to your wife that you want to buy another bike, when you just spent a goodly amount of money on a new/used mountain bike and a small fortune to get it tuned up and tricked out to my specifications.
Even as you speak about turning your old Bridgestone MB-2 into a single-speed mountain bike (which won’t be all that cheap).
“Tell me why you need a bike other than your mountain bike,” she said. “I mean, I’m not saying you can’t have a new bike, but I just want to understand.”
I told her that on a mountain bike, you’re always in this aggressive stance; that if I want to ride, I have to put on my mountain biking shoes, since I have little clipless pedals. That with a cruiser bike, the handlebars reach back to you, that I can ride with sandals and head out of the garage each and every time the daughter felt like tooling around the neighborhood.
I’ve been driving my local bike shops nuts.
Test-riding bikes on my lunch break.
One shop, after selling like a dozen bikes last week (I wrote about cruiser bikes for a story; our local bike group, Redding Mountain Biking www.reddingmountainbiking.com started a Friday cruise), ordered 20 bikes from Electra www.electrabike.com.
The former owner of the shop was building a Deluxe on Wednesday.
“Dude, you have to ride this when I’m done,” he said. “It’s so sweet.”
Twenty-six-inch frame. Candy apple red paint job. Whitewall tires. Shimano’s new Nexus internal-hub three-speed gears.
It’s got cool, wrap-around fenders, which I feared wouldn’t fit in my roof rack.
“Let’s throw it up there, and see if it fits,” Debbie, the owner said.
It fit.
“Just leave it on up there,” I said.
My wife came home last night as I was adjusting the seat post .
“I guess you decided not to wait,” she said.
Then she got a look at this thing.
“Is it set for you?,” she asked. “Because I really want to ride it.”
It’s that cool.

There goes the neighborhood

I can feel my property value dropping already.
I’m out in my nice front lawn yesterday, when these scrotes pull up to the rental house next door for a peek. Two guys, two girls. Two sets of pure white trash.
One of the guys is a skinhead, the other is sporting a mullet; the women both wear half-shirts with belly flab (the infamous “muffin look”) hanging over their jeans.
They’re whooping and hollering as they circle the house and look in the windows. Then they really go ape-shit when they find the hot tub in the back yard.
They get back into their P.O.S. late-model Nissan sedan – and squeal their tires as they leave.
Not the kind of neighbors I’m hoping to have in my quiet little slice of suburbia.
Jump ahead nine hours. So I can’t sleep, right? It’s 2 a.m. and I go out to the couch so as not to wake the wife with my fruitless thrashings.
I hear noises. People whooping and hollering. Somewhere around my back yard.
The four scrotes who checked out the house are in the neighbor’s hot tub, with lit candles on a bird feeder. Drinking beer.
I’m so stunned, I don’t say anything.
Who the fuck checks out a rental house, then has the hairy nuts to go back under the cover of darkness to soak in a hot tub that hasn’t been cleaned in like six months?
Scrotes, that’s who. Ones who wouldn’t have a moment’s thought about cooking up a little meth in a back bedroom, or having all-night raves in the back yard, listening to classic rock and drinking Keystone Light.
Instead of calling the cops – who I doubt would have responded, even at that hour – I called the rental company.
And they were no help, since it “wasn’t technically a tenant situation.”
So it looks as if we’ll wait and see who rents the house – then make it clear that the neighbors will not tolerate Neighbors From Hell (there’s even a Web site, www.neighborsfromhell.com to vent, plot, whatever).
Yeah, I sound like the grumpy old guy down the block who tells all the kids to “Stay off my lawn!”
But here’s the thing (and I stole this):
“If your lifestyle leaks into someone else's space/property, then you are the Neighbor From Hell.”