Well, well, well. …

"There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don'tcha know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day."

“There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’tcha know that? And here ya are, and it’s a beautiful day.”

Charles “Live Update Guy” Pelkey and I were discussing anniversaries the other day, and I was reminded that I’ve been working in my chosen profession for nearly 39 years now; 40, if you count the time I spent as a copy boy at the Colorado Springs Sun back in 1974.

No wonder I fail to amuse myself now and then.

This week was one of those times. Mornings spent working the Giro at Live Update Guy. Back-to-back ship dates at Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, which meant I had to crank out two “Mad Dog Unleashed” columns and two “Shop Talk” cartoons in two weeks. And two bike reviews ongoing for Adventure Cyclist. Thousands and thousands of words.

There are harder ways to earn your biscuits and beans — for example, maglia rosa Steven Kruijswijk went ass over teakettle into a snowbank coming off the Cima Coppi in today’s Giro stage — but nevertheless, now and then it feels very much like work.

Other things take a back seat. Cooking (lots of cold suppers lately). Chores (you should see the laundry pile). Cycling (I went for a 45-minute run yesterday because I was sick of bicycles).

And this blog, of course.

In “A Moveable Feast,” Ernest Hemingway wrote of a line he refused to cross:

“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”

I’m no Hemingway. I don’t write novels, or short stories; I don’t even do journalism anymore, not really. More of a rumormonger, actually.

But still, damn. I look in the bottom of the well lately and all I see are rusty pesos, a couple of dead silverfish, and … and. …

Say, is that the bullet that killed Vince Foster down there?

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13 Responses to “Well, well, well. …”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Glad I retired early and left the rat race behind. I miss the work and the big paychecks but in reality, everyone seems to be fighting harder and harder to make a go if it. Many of my friends are really struggling later in life to keep careers going until they can retire. This week I read about Canyon’s entry to the US and wonder the effect on LBS. Will they be able to compete with direct-to-market bikes? Will other bike manufacturer’s follow suit and with cheaper prices too. Seems the tech wave creates opportunities/problems where everyone wants to disrupt the market. Lots of disruption to come. I call it the Walmart effect because I believe they started the cycle that seems like it will never end…need it cheaper…jobs lost…need it cheaper…jobs lost…and so on and so on forever.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I can take Socialist Security now, but our accountant says to wait. I guess we could tap into the 401 (k) too, but likewise, I suppose.

      This is just an unholy convergence of chores I’m battling here. It’s rare I have this much stuff going on at the same time. That said, I could take a year off just about any ol’ time. The tough part would be finding gainful employment afterward.

      Trek, Giant and Raleigh are already half-stepping, letting customers buy online and pick up at the LBS. But Canyon went whole hog. Lots of people watching on this one. Just wait until some shade-tree mechanic stuffs it on his home-assembled Canyon. The ambulance will be leading a parade of lawyers.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Sandy says you have a neat trick burning a candle on three ends. And I say whadaya get for doing it? Bony fingers is what. I agree with Sharon about retirement. Seems like everyone wants Wall Mart prices and everyone except them to work for minimum wage. Can’t have both. I think the Walton brats have enough money: they won’t be getting any of mine.

    Tao te Ching, chapter 9, offers some guidance in this area.

    Sounds like you and your shyster buddy are deliberating the life of LUG. Maybe it’s time to end it on a high note. Like the Tour maybe. Does Patrick over at RKP have any advice for you guys?

    Anyway, start drinking again and let’s have the first annual Mad Dog River Ride and Dinner in Duke City this fall. I’ll come up and help you organize it.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We have all kinds of cycling opportunities here in the Duke City, Pat. This stretch here is three blocks from El Rancho Pendejo. (Yeah, working again, this time shooting video.)

      Live Update Guy … I dunno what’s happening there yet. CP wants to do Le Tour, but after that it’s anybody’s guess.

  3. Medium Rick Says:

    Man…I felt so bad for Krui$$wee&**K, he has ridden so well up until that little bobble into the snow bank. I’d love to see him recover some time tomorrow. Not likely though.

  4. Medium Rick Says:

    Latest update is Kruijswijk has a cracked rib…
    Poor bastard.

  5. David Rees Says:

    Hands down, this has been one of the best grand tours in many years. Some fascinating stages, including today’s, with drama on nearly every one. Tomorrow should be a barn burner too. I hope Kruijswijk makes it to the gate, but it’s looking doubtful. Feel sorry for the guy.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Tough hombre, making it to the line and holding on to a podium spot after that. He’s got his work cut out for him tomorrow, though. Sheesh, talk about adding insult to injury.

  6. debby511 Says:

    Bad day at the office for me today too, but not nearly as bad as Kruijswijk’s. Talk about the agony of defeat!

    And as for the empty well, I know the feeling. 35 years in the software biz for me, and I am more than ready for the exit. Those paychecks come in handy though.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, that Socialist Security doesn’t dollar up on the hoof real well, does it? I’ll need to keep making stuff up for a spell, assuming that there continues to be a market for that sort of thing.

      I definitely need to spend more time away from the Mac, though. Lately it feels like a vampire that has me by the fingers.

  7. khal spencer Says:

    I’ve been doing this gig since 1977, if you count graduate school. Lately I’m feeling really burned out. Its hard getting the enthusiasm going. Maybe its time to find something new to do.

    That decision involves a battle between complacency, i.e., doing what I know I can do and picking up the paycheck vs. knowing that I ought to be looking over my shoulder at all those other rats and doing a breakaway from the rat race. Sigh. Wish I had the energy I had thirty years ago.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      You, and Patrick, will know when it’s time to move on. One thing is a sure bet. With the interests you have, you will never be bored. Sandy and I look at each other around 3PM and say, “where the hell did this day go?”

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