Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cairns Against Entropy

Marks, of order, of variety, of intention

Cairns are piles of rocks which mark something. In the most basic form, they indicate "I WAS HERE." Without necessary clarifying who the "I" was. But, wandering through some wild place, windswept, sunbaked, little sign of man nor beast, it can be both comforting and informative to come upon one of these, serving as a trail marker (their most common application in these desert parts) or a summit collection.

These particular examples are currently found along the new path on the Arizona Canal in Scottsdale. They cause me to wonder what they are for. I hope art. We'll see if they are serving some actual purpose for the constructors of the path. In the meantime, though, I'm free to reflect on their pure rocky goodness, the mix of shape texture and form, a place where order and disorder, man-made and natural, rough and smooth, met in a pile of contingency. Easy to scatter. Easy to remake. Packed into metal cages, simple enough to make into gabions for walls or cyclist-pleasing visual accents.

But set all that aside for a moment. To look a bit deeper at cairns, I mean. At their deepest, these piles of rocks are basic symbols of order vs. chaos. Pick up a few rocks from random places. Set them down in an intentional place. To my eye, much more pleasing than the excessive and overblown intent and order of something like the surreal intentional patch of landscaping along my route. That thing is over the top in this respect. While a pile of rocks at its most basic is a construction, something made, yet still basic.

Stuff breaks. Suns burn out and explode. Comets crash. Cosmic rays tear across the cosmos and pierce matter like Chinese noodle chefs going through dough. Solar flares scream toward earth and sere everything. Heat death ensues eventually. So we pick up rocks as we go along, set them down in piles, and signal that we were here. And that we ride on.

Stuff breaks. This is the opposite of a cairn.

Friday, June 28, 2013

It's Friday Go Home Early Yay 114°F Though

The strategy would be to find a route home that looked like this the whole way
It's Friday!
Go home early! Yay!
114°F though. Well, hydrate up with ice water, look for ways too cool off on the way, take it easy.

It's so dry that my skin stays completely dry, until I stop, at which point it becomes covered in sweat. Which shows how much I'm sweating.

It's too hot out for the sane or inexperienced. It's a tossup which of those distinctions keep my riding in this weather, except that it's a desire of mine to commute by bicycle always, regardless of the weather. It went fine, I keep on riding, but I don't recommend it. Unless your route happened to be graced by cooling sprinklers the whole way. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Path Signage Along Arizona Canal Path in Scottsdale

Slow swerve tunnel merge, ahead!

In addition to the NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES and Sun Circle Trail and Bike Route Underpass signs, they've added some traffic control and information signage on the newly paved and lighted path along the Arizona Canal.

My camera has one of those creative toy vision settings, and I think I knocked that on before this shot

Good stuff. It looks like sprinklers are going in, additional landscaping, and some mystery items marked by rock pile cairns. Not sure if the lights are on at night yet or not, got to check it out soon. Cyclists: nice signs are yours! Have some! How many kilometers to the next bike shop?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Boat Lane

Boat lane

I'm not complaining. I just appreciated the marked juxtaposition which was topped off with a poignant passage challenge for a bicycle user.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Something More Than This

This crane is up to something
I need something more than this. To fill the void, to complete the picture, something more than this is required. On the bicycle such thoughts sneak into my brain while I'm staring at the blue blue sky, at the crane and shadows.

It keeps positioning itself to offer striking geometric contrasts with the bridge and trees around it

Significance, meaning, depth, uniqueness.

Community, creativity, place and now. Art.

Are these even possible, now? Here? Deep meditative immersed in it real? Not sure there's much of a market for it any more. Old fashioned, worn out concepts, apparently. Beat down, washed out, deprecated, end of life in previous version. The new cloud version, LAAS (Life as a Service) for only $9.95 extra per month, bundled with the unlimited voice data and text plan. Free stuff extra if you order now. And a chance for a guest appearance on every reality show ever made.

And sunshine, and shadows, and statues
Not laughing at nothings. Not happy for moneythings. Running, riding, jumping into an ocean of thoughts and seeing.

That point. That age. Looking around and wondering. Asking questions which, looking back, seemed like they carried an expectation of answering long long ago, but which hang around, reasserting themselves at quiet moments in the sunshine.

And free trolleys
Something more than this. Meaning, and if not eternal, at least true. Well I won't go quietly. Something more than this would be something more than this. I hope I see that. I hope I'm open to that. Not too far gone yet. Able, perhaps dimly, but able, to see. To notice. To hear those words that when spoken, mean that. Something more. Looking.

Don't want LAAS. Just want L. All of it.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Lines, Let's Hope the Carriages Don't Return

New lines painted on the new Arizona Canal Path

Black and white dots marked the locations for the lines

The message: stay on your side. We'll see how that works.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Lights on the New Arizona Canal Path in Scottsdale

At night their curvilinear beauty will resemble pearls on a bioluminescent anemone

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Bicycle, That Magnificent Procrastination Machine

Important things to do and places to ride...wait! Ducklings in the canal! Priorities, man, priorities!

They barely kept ahead of the current, looking like they would be swept away, then skipped forward.

On this hot afternoon, I wanted to jump in with them, as they had a better spot than I did.

The oleanders grew back from stumps. Life conquers destruction. Just add water and sunshine.

OK, that's it, now back to work after this short diversion from the bike lane. Look for updates here on the ducks and oleanders as their growth warrants and procrastination enables.