Why fi?

“Well, the good news is we have wifi. The bad news is,
it cost me $150 to update the blog.”

Jesus H., etc.

I know this isn’t exactly the wilderness, but still, damn.

Anyone who’d pay $3 an hour for wifi at Hyde Memorial State Park probably shouldn’t be allowed to leave home with his wallet.

Get your face out of the phone and take a hike, f’fucksake. Give Yogi and Boo-Boo a shot at your pic-a-nic basket.

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44 Responses to “Why fi?”

  1. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Reminds me of the daze VN had the 900 line you dialed up for race results in the pre-internet era. Louis Viggio (now of Dual Eyewear) would read out the results and we’d scribble ’em down and hang up the phone ASAP to keep the costs down to a couple $.
    VN would come out in print with all the details a few weeks later.
    Now we get a webcam practically shoved up the rider’s a– but we didn’t get any epic video from the recent Vuelta stage under the hailstorm because the TV ‘copters couldn’t fly. What happened to the days when the TV motos had recording capability so the images could at least be downloaded and viewed later? Progress?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      And leave us not forget the early days of the Innertubes, when some buccaneers like CompuServe or AOL would charge a flat fee for monthly access plus some horrific tariff for overage.

      It was my biggest bidness expense some months. That, and the whiskey.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    “We’re really encouraging people to plug into nature and only use Wi-Fi for emergencies,” Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst said of the initiative.

    Yea, right. The heroin in this vending machine is only for medical emergencies.

  3. Dale E. Brigham Says:

    I am putting my black felt-tip marker to a U.S. map annotated with each state’s electoral college votes. I’m thinking New Mexico should get the most; my home state, Texas, would get zero. I feel better already! Dale (“Behold the Power of my Sharpie”) in Mid-MO

  4. SAO’ Says:

    The thing is, $3 is probably a non-idiotic world decent price. Log in for one hour, tell everyone you got there safe, check weather, log off. Problem is, 3 people will use it that way.

  5. SAO' Says:

    Can you effing imagine if BHO had been caught doctoring a map to cover a gaffe? Impeachment would have started yesterday.

  6. SteveP Says:



  7. khal spencer Says:

    Dope dealers and Internet dealers. One and the same addiction.

  8. Dale Says:

    Camping used to mean fun away from home, getting wet and dirty and maybe staying that way, and eating stuff that was not on the normal menu.

    Now it means spending $80K for an RV so that you can pull a trailer with a golf cart (we don’t want to walk around the camping area – do we). And don’t forget – the campground is a Theme Park!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I saw a dude with a diesel Dodge duallie pulling a fifth wheel and a pontoon boat the other day. He was probably off to rough it in a Walmart parking lot.

      • SAO’ Says:

        And those guys swear they’re ready to live off the grid. 40 gallon tank times 12 mpg = how many days into the zombie apocalypse before they’re as dead as a 10 month old e-scooter?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Some good eatin’ on those fellas too. Plump and juicy, like a Butterball turkey. Tough to store the meat without refrigeration, though, so you’ll want to make jerky and share with the neighbors.

    • khal spencer Says:

      My wife’s idea of camping is the Holiday Inn. She doesn’t like sleeping on the ground. But I draw the line at buying an RV or Fifth Wheel and spending my vacations in an RV park. That shit is definitely for other people.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        I’m with my mother-in-law on this one – “Camping is a hotel without room service.” 🙂
        I too laugh at the “Country Boy can survive” types.
        Not too many of them here in Sicily, thank gawd, though there IS a place we ride past with a “GLAMPING” sign in front.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      There are RV parks, and there are RV parks. I like the one at McDowell Mountain Regional Park outside Fountain Hills (see the pic above). There are plenty of the $150,000 big rigs, but you’ll also see pop-tops, conversion vans, and the humble tent.

      Plus the trail network is stellar, the campground hosts are bicycle people, and Fountain Hills is close but not too close in case you need some shrimp for the barbie.

      Even the overflow area is a’ight (see below). O, the glory days, when I had a manly Toyota Tacoma pick-’em-up truck.

      Mind you, you want to select your dates carefully. It’s about 106° there right now with both pollution and flash-flood advisories in effect. Maybe the floods will wash away the stank.

      McDowell overflow area

      • psobrien Says:

        We really rough it. We have the Eureka glamping tent that sleeps six. Plenty of room for 2 people, 1 little dog, 3 inch think foam sleeping pads, and that porta pot for the 2AM piss call. And remember that old sailor’s jingle. When you’re getting old, and your bladder is weak, stand close to the john or you’ll pee on your feet.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        We have three tents: the little gray Eureka (in theory, for two people, in practice, for one); the little orange Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (another two-sleeper that’s better as a solo); and that big orange North Face Expedition-25 at the top of the page (an honest two-sleeper that’s basically a car-camping Hilton).

        Herself is like Meena — if it ain’t an actual Hilton, with bed, bath, and bar, it ain’t for her. Ixnay on the ampingcay. So if you see that North Face pitched next to a beater Subie with a Steelman on the roof rack, you can pretty much assume it’s just me in there.

        • SAO’ Says:

          When I met my better half, she was camping with the bears and doing 140 mile bike rides. That was Alaska. Moved to Hawaii where we would discover islands by kayak, scooting around the sharks.

          Then we moved to Fort Lost in the Woods, Misery. Chiggers. Ticks. Feral pigs. Water Mocs.

          Haven’t gone tent camping since.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            I went to basic training there in the summer of 1969. Chigger central.

            That Northface is the real 4 season deal Patrick. I have always admired them but got stingy when it was time to pull out the wallet.

          • SAO' Says:

            Remind me one of these days to tell ya the story about the chiggers, calamine lotion, and the American Airlines bathroom door that wouldn’t stay locked.

          • khal spencer Says:

            We actually did some camping when we lived in Paradise. I recall one really nice trip somewhere on the Windward side of Oahu, way up the coast north of Kaneohe/Kailua. Sleeping in some ironwoods not too far from the beach. Now that was so nice even Meena enjoyed it.

          • SAO' Says:

            Bellows Air Force Station had $5 a night camp sites. Not very remote, but couldn’t beat the price.

          • khal spencer Says:

            We were up at Malaekahana State Recreation Area. But that was in the 1990’s. No idea what it looks like now. It was awesome back then. My only nightmare memory of Malaekahana was being dropped in a headwind during a Dick Evans Race. It was a long way to the finish: all the way down the Windward side of the island.

            I had slowed to help several teammates who were higher placed than Yours Truly (it wasn’t hard to be higher placed than me in the state rankings) and then towed them back up to the peloton, or at least within striking distance, playing domestique. They hit the gas and I hit the wall. Watched the bunch recede into the distance and said “…oh, shit…”

          • khal spencer Says:

            So when did you live in Paradise? Was it on Oahu?

          • SAO' Says:

            Hmmmm … too long ago, apparently. I know it was before digital cameras were pocket sized, cuz all of our pix are in shoe boxes in the basement. I’m guessing ‘96-99?

            Lived in Kailua, worked at Shafter, but traveled 10 days out of the month. Guam, American Samoa, all of the Hawaiian islands, and Northern California to Alaska, with occasional trips to San Antonio. And the last year, the 100/442 went to JRTC, so it was back and forth to Louisiana. Cuz, it totally makes sense to send the folks in the middle of the pacific to do a project just off the Gulf of México. Lordy, we wasted some money there.

          • SAO' Says:

            Did you ever do the wheelchair racer escort for the Honolulu marathon? Pretty sure that was an HBL thing. Ran it twice, biked the escort duty twice. That was a crazy event.

          • khal spencer Says:

            I think I did it once and probably should have done it more often. I did emergency assistant cook and bottle washer duties on some HBL organized rides when I was on the HBL Board and did a fair amount of race support, including moto escort, after I blew out my knees pretending to be a USCF racer. But we never had a lack of volunteers for HBL rides so when I wasn’t doing advocacy, I just wanted to ride my bike and be left alone.

            The organized rides could be….interesting. I once jumped off my bike and grabbed a blaze orange vest from a volunteer and took over course marshaling when we were almost killing people at the 25k turnaround at the Haleiwa metric century. Was fun. I love pretending to be a traffic cop.Gives one a perverse and fake sense of power.

            Anyway, I lived in Honolulu from 1987 to 2001. Meena and I lived in Waialae-Kahala near Kahala Mall and in Hawaii Kai (Kalama Valley). Meena’s sister and brother in law lived in Kaneohe. My wife, who was raised in Honolulu, and I both ran into political shitstorms at the Univ. of Hawaii so we packed up the house, sold our little piece of Paradise (most of which was actually owned by the bank), said Aloha to the U of H, and headed to Los Alamos, where we traded academics for the black arts in the national lab.

          • SAO' Says:

            The wheeled racer escort was a trip. I was a young, enthusiastic Captain, and expected a five paragraph Operations Order, but the instructions were: Got a bike? Got lights? Then pick a racer and try to stay near him.

            I think the race started at 6:00, so the wheeled racers left at 5:00? And marshalls we’re still setting up, so the job was to make the wheeled racers visible to pickups unloading cones or tables or coolers. I’m amazed you didn’t read about clueless volunteers like me plowing into a barricade or leading a wheeled racer down the wrong road.

          • SAO' Says:

            Yeah, those HBL events were always well supported. And it seems like I did just as many hikes or movie nights with them as rides.

            Lost my last Iron Okole tee shirt a couple or three moves ago.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Iron Okole awards. Those were great.

          • khal spencer Says:

            That;s me in the middle, Haleiwa Metric Century, back in the nineties. Before I got old and decrepid.

          • SAO' Says:

            I recognize all three faces. Names, never my strong suit. Had that Jersey, shoulda thought 20 years forward and bought a 3XL.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Same with me on names. The gentlemen on my L and R were regulars with HBL and with our rides and I saw them a lot, but I forget their names. Can barely remember my own. I think Eve DeCoursey took that photo.

          • SAO' Says:

            Eve was one of a kind. I needed a community service activity and she hooked me up with a bunch of BikeEd stuff that we used with the Shafter Boy Scouts. Can’t remember ever seeing her not smiling.

  9. khal spencer Says:

    Hana Highway trip, ~2000. O’G laughs about people needing WiFi on camping trips. I went out and bought a laptop for this trip since I was UH faculty and one was ALWAYS supposed to be working. Didn’t use it once. Meena still reminds me of that debacle.But if you want to do an awesome ride in Paradise, see if Frank Smith, owner of Island Triathlon and Bike in Honolulu, is still leading this ride on E. Maui. We stayed in an old DIY lodge, i.e., make your own food, etc

  10. JD Dallager Says:

    Been gone a few days. This is starting to look more like Mad Dog Facebook! 🙂

    Why-fi? Semper Fi!

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