You remember life before the internet, rotary phones, having to go into the bank to get cash, 12" black and white tvs with rabbit ears, that one talked quietly in a phone booth with the door closed giving dirty looks to strangers who came to close to perhaps listen in--not yelping loudly about their STD on a cell phone in teh supermarket--"damn, you're old."
All summer long cycling friends my age are coming down with aliments, or not doing doubles anymore, or complaining how old they feel. We don't have as many folks doing long out of town rides as we did when I joined the Diablo Cyclists, and it seemed like everyone was hammering. I'm much lighter than I was 7 years ago, my bike is lighter, and I can't climb as fast as I did. In 2003 & 2004 I went under 34 minutes to the Ranger Station twice and under 67 minutes to the Summit twice. I never did it again. This Summer I couldn't go under 36 minutes to the Junction until mid-September and only once under 70 minutes to the top all year. Fuck.
On the work front, I was driving with one of my favorite bosses who mentioned his granddaughter was in college?? How could that be--he was only a few years older than me. Nope--turns out he just turned 65 which I instantly knew that this meant he'd retire shortly--which he did.
Two days after my birthday I could barely walk as my heels were cracking badly. Old age disease. I remember my dad constantly had his skin around his foot scale away. I bought "Dr. Hess' Udder Ointment"--doubt that dad ever used anything and just toughed it out.
To ward off winter depression and learn something new I got a sports video camera for my birthday. One of the great things about cycling is looking around and noticing the "Kodak moments"--taking movies is a step along this path. Sports video cameras have come down in price and are about the size of a thick cigar--so real innocuous. Takes everything in almost fisheye to have a large depth of field and no need to focus--of course this means you have to be real close to the subject.
I was going to go up Diablo and test it out but of course the jerryrigged camera mount that would use an existing light bracket broke right away--so the video camera's debut waited for our first club ride--it was supposed to be a good out of town ride but lousy weather kept us close to home.
The full video, and sharper images, are on You-Tube 'click here'
Obviously I need help making movies so I headed straight to Hollywood to get some tips. Actually went down to Southern California to visit my daughter Jessie, and we kicked around seedy Hollywood. But it was kinda strange--even though many of the "stars" on the Walk of Fame were never my favorites--I had heard of about 80% of them (Jessie heard of 10%) and had "flashback connections" to some. Frankie Laine--1940's-50's singer--my mom had a 78' of his that my grandma loved. Yma Sumac--the Peruvian Princess with the 5 octave voice (falsely rumored to be a Jewish housewife from Brooklyn)--when my dad hated all the rock I was playing he liked Yma's music. George Burns-grandma would watch him and I'd join and watch, Lawrence Welk-grandma would watch him and I'd run out of the room.
Of course my generation should not be the "baby boomer generation," it should be the "smart ass" generation. What do you expect when raised on Bugs Bunny, and comedians from Groucho Marx to John Belushci?; a whole team of "smart asses" honored on the walk of fame.
Great time walking around Hollyweird with Jessie. Though overcast LA is about +10 warmer than the Bay area. Walking around is great as driving around is a zoo--mega shopping centers charging parking in huge garages that are jam packed. Real find was eating in Farmers Market with eclectic collection if international "fast food." As I previously noted, my daughter who is into music, film, and Yahoo celebrity gossip, only knew about 10% of the stars on the Hollywood walk, and this only rose when we hit the stretch of the newer stars in the renovated area around the Chinese Theatre--Bugs Bunny, Judge Judy, John Belushi, Fleetwood Mac--forget about the older stars near the rundown Hollywood & Vine. It just showed the HUGH gap between our generation. Nevermind when I had to pull out my drivers licence, and Jessie and I looked at it with a picture taken 10+ years ago due to automatic renewals--it was like seeing that person you haven't seen in a few years and suddenly they look old. Oh crap, I have gotten old. Tme to apply the Udder Ointment.
Well, I'm not going down without a fight. Weight training this winter. Redouble my effort to finish the Alta Alpina 8 next year. And make crappy bike movies in between. Hmmm, I must have missed the star on the Hollywood walk for Director Ed Wood. (And my new mantra-10 years to retirement)
Addendum-now that I go down to Los Angeles every two months or so, I decided to look up the one guy from my teenage circle of friends who lived down there. We weren't close friends, and growing up I'd go on and on about moving to San Francisco, and he'd go on and on about moving to Los Angeles and the babes in LA. Last I heard he was an LA Public Defender. So I easily found him on the web today--a few days after putting up this post. Doug died 9 months ago.