Snow, bikes, Christmas shopping, AZ krew rocks!

Get your shovels out, kids!

Eek! It has finally arrived. The white stuff is on the ground, I repeat, the white stuff is on the ground. This spells the end to the biking season of 2006, well, for most of us anyway. There are some brave souls who do bike during the winter. My hats off to them, but to me it’s not worth putting one’s lives at serious risk, especially here. Even walking can be treacherous on any given day. I’ll be looking forward to my walk tonight, though. A fresh snowfall is great for walking. However, what I’m not looking forward to is a trip to a few stores this weekend.

I haven’t ventured to the city’s main shopping area yet this season. It’s going to be another interesting experience, as it is every year. Here’s my plan of attack.

First, get my butt out of bed bright and early tomorrow. Since some stores open at 7 am, it will be an early start. No, I definitely won’t be motivated for 7 am, but maybe 8:30 is more realistic. Then, it’s off to select an appropriate parking space, not too close to the buildings, but close enough to exits to make a quick escape when the hoards of shoppers invade the property. It really is a game, isn’t it? Get there early enough to beat out the crowds, choose a parking spot strategically, plan out the shopping route in the store and proceed to checkouts in efficient, but orderly manner. Then, get outta there without bruises and high blood pressure. Why do we do this to ourselves every year? I’ll never understand it.

Whenever I’m in a lineup and people start complaining, you know the signs – mumbling to themselves or to others in line hoping to share their misery, constantly shifting their weight from one leg to another, constantly checking their watch, sighing loudly so that everyone can hear – I start whistling. There’s nothing more annoying to a grumpy person than an overly happy person. So, the next time you’re around grumps, try to act exactly the opposite and eventually you’ll annoy them enough that they’ll give up their complaining, at least while you’re around them spreading good cheer.

Once I get my shopping done, I like to grab a coffee and watch people. It’s a hobby I’ve always enjoyed. Man, the holidays sure do bring out the grumpiness in some people. They change into nasty, pushy, obnoxious beasts! Bah humbug, indeed! Christmas should be an enjoyable time of year, not stressful, rushed and overwhelming. Just think of all of the credit card CEOs wringing their hands in delight during this time of year, just like the Grinch when he gets the idea to steal presents, decorations and Christmas feasts from the Whos.

I’ll venture out tomorrow with a positive attitude and just hope for the best. Brad will be writing the Meridian and Bandito recumbent projects all weekend, so I’ll be puttering around keeping quiet so he can get finished this weekend. I know how easy is it to get distracted when you’re trying to concentrate on something. Writing is an art that demands concentration, which means blocking out everything and everyone around you. Creative people tend to need alot of space, mentally and physically, to do their craft; it’s something that alot of folks don’t understand. That’s probably why some people think that artists and writers are antisocial. Maybe some really are, but it’s really because they need to be left alone to focus on their craft. Researching, building and writing are very time consuming and deadlines are always looming, so it’s important to be organized and focused at all times to get things done.

That’s why we haven’t been overly active in the Forums lately. We really do try to be there every couple of days to post, but hopefully, membership will grow to the point that everyone can help each other out. That’s already been happening more often, and it’s great to see. That’s why we started the forums in the first place. There are some great projects by members going on right now – choppers, DeltaWolf trikes, recumbents, SpinCycles. Kudos to the AZ krew members who are making some very cool designs and builds, even in parts of the world where cold temperatures and snow have already set in. Our little building community is really growing into a great social networking and information site. We tip our welding helmets to you all! Thanks for being cool. There will be some exciting forum updates and member perks coming in early 2007. Stay tuned.

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