And the art of “cycle” maintenance.

Lately I’ve been enjoying riding my vintage Motobecane, and because if this I needed to do just a touch of maintenance. 

Nothing major, mind you, but nothing is really done to bikes before. Like tightening a loose brake lever, tweaking brakes, and adjusting my rear derailleur.  I guess I’ve always “white people problemed” this stuff and taken the bike into a shop.

But, as it turns out, the Internet can be used for more than just Kardassians and porn.  (Who knew?)

A few simple keystrokes in the Google search window yields a veritable wealth of information on bike maintenance. There are forums on older bikes, YouTube “how to” videos, etc. it’s pretty awesome. 

And most of this shit just takes screwdrivers and Allen wrenches. Not difficult at all– and I feel semi-accomplished when it’s completed. 

In addition I’ve also started researching vintage bikes, and they are becoming sort of a passion of mine. (What can I say?  I like rescuing old tech like bikes and instruments and watches and giving them new life).

I’m learning about the old Campagnolo (campy) and Suntour derailleurs and weimann brakes, pantographed components and high flange hubs, etc.

Here’s and example of pantographing:

Like when the brand is stamped or etched into the components. 

And here is a high flange hug:

Where the spokes connect is on a raised flange that is away from the center axis. Shorter spokes = a stiffer wheel and better performance (supposedly). 

I find it all fascinating!  If things fall apart at work, I think I could be quite happy rebuilding and maintaining bikes. 

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Yeah, I hit the parade. Hung out with the bears and my friend Jenn.  Got insanely drunk on the “special punch”.  Went to Pride Park with the masses. Had cheese curds. Threw up later. 

Good times. 

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Pride weekend is upon us here in the Minni-Apple.  I wish I had plans, but I don’t. It’s mostly going to pass much like any other weekend for me. 

I was supposed to go to a piece kickoff BBQ on Friday after work, but the host came down with strep so that got cancelled. So I worked out instead. 

The gym was dead, of course. 

As I rode my to the gyms and home again, I passed a couple gay bars. Big tents set up, lots of folks drinking and carousing. 

I suppose I could have stopped– but I’m really not a bar person. And even less of a stuffed to the gills bar person. And I guess I think pride should be about more than a hangover. 

I may do the parade tomorrow. We’ll see. I’m not going to march with the chorus, although I could. I’ve marched in enough parades (and I hate doing it).

And even with Orlando and other events, I don’t really feel any fear in attending or going to the bars.  Maybe I should at least do something (it feels somewhat important to do so). 

We’ll see.

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I left my heart…

In San Francisco…..

Not really, but I realize I never really blogged about my trip to SF (other than pics).  If you recall, the trip was not only a getaway, but also a chance to hang with Erick.

Now Erick was the boy I met while we were singing in LA and we hit it off and had a magical night and I really kinda liked him and we had been in communication ever since. 


The visit didn’t go exactly as I’d hoped. 

The long and short of it is that we are friends and there doesn’t seem to be any potential for more. 

I guess it’s good to find that out now– better late than never. 

The visit started well and we fell into a comfortable rapport very quickly. And there may or may not have even been some kissing at the Giants game. 

But that’s it. 

The longer my visit went, the more I seemed to wear him out (I tend to have that effect on people).  By the last night, it was very anti-climactic, and we said our final goodbye in his local bar. 

As he watched the Warriors game. 

With his ex. 

So yeah, there was that. 

Anyway, we’re still friends and still text and FaceTime . But that will be it. 


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Woody Wednesday 

I’ve been feeling a bit stabby lately. Hope this will help.

Ah… A little better now. 

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Two Boys Kissed

The big premier concerts of Two Boys Kissing was rhis past weekend.

It went really well. With so many moving parts ans so few rehearsals together, it could have been a disaster. But it wasn’t. 

I believe it was well received. I saw audience members crying. One woman as she passed (while wiping her eyes) smiled and said, “These are happy tears.”

I got emotional in spots, as did others. 

As I expected, the piece challenged rhe performers as well as the audience. It’s 1 hour 10 minutes of an emotional arc, with a quiet intro and a quiet exit and no applause breaks in between.  There was almost a reverence about it– like the audience was attending a gay mass.  Or funeral. 

I jokingly referred to it at some point as a very adult version of an after school special. 

The composer (Joshua Shank) and the author (David Levithan) were at all three performances. And even their parents came. 

It was a difficult yet cathartic end to a hard week. It has left me physically and emotionally drained. 

But it was good. 

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Woofy Wednesday

Because I need the distraction.

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Two Boys Kissing

“Every time two boys kiss, it opens the world a little more.”

Well, this is concert week for the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, and we are putting the final touches on our world premier of Two Boys Kissing.

It’s been a long journey. 

You may recall me mentioning this work many months ago.  It’s a commissioned work for our 35th anniversary and it’s based on the young adult novel of the same name. Although the main story line involves two high school boys trying G to set the world record for longest kiss (based on a true story), it’s much more than that. 

Here’s my synopsis:

It’s the story of several young boys embarking on life’s journey, watched and narrated by the gay men who’s lives have already ended.  It’s introspective, heartfelt, ethereal, and poignant.

I don’t know how to describe the piece. It’s chant-like, but also has interesting harmonies.  It’s full of emotion and hope. It has six narrators who tell the backbone of the story as the music becomes the flesh. We are accompanied by a small chamber orchestra.

At first I was not very wild about the piece. It wasn’t what I was anticipating and I felt disappointed.  I wanted rich, dense, lush music to sing, and this piece wasn’t that. But I held off final judgment until the entire product was in place. 

Now I think it will be an event– definitely something that has merit and should be seen.

It’s not dense and lush– it’s delicate. And more about sung emotions around the narrative. It’s wistful and full of longing. And hope. Lots of hope. 

And given recent events, the timing of our concert is either atrocious or important.  Time will tell. 

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Yesterday was a rough day for me and for many others. And it was a day of unfathomable anguish for far too many. 

I spent most of the day crying off and on. It would just hit me at odd times, and tears would stream down my face. And I couldn’t stop. 

Something I’ll carry with me forever was reported on CNN. They spoke of the first responders in the club, walking amongst the dead, and hearing ringtone after ringtone of the victim’s cell phones, as their loved ones desperately tried to reach them.

So much hatred. So much violence. I don’t understand. 

Every mass shooting strikes at the heart of me. I’m deeply anti gun and anti violence.  But this one hurts especially so because I know it could have been me in that club. Celebrating gay pride.  Dancing. 

And worts of all is the knowledge that it still could be me. 

I went to the organized vigil in Loring Park last night. This is the same park that will play host to our Pride festivities in two weeks time. 

There were many speeches, and more than a few tears were shed. All of our politicians were there: governor, mayors, state reps and senators, city council members, etc. And many local clergy representatives were there as well. 

As I posted on Facebook yesterday: I’m glad I went to the vigil in Loring park Sunday evening. 

“On a day when I felt so utterly alone, it was good to go to a place where I was assured that I am not.”

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Woofy Wednesday

Oh you handsome God

Please put your penis in me

And swish it around

And last but certainly not least—-





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