Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jackie Brian, Time Trial Hero!

Arkansas native Jackie Brian is a skilled and winning time trial racer (shown here in competition in Monroe, LA) and regularly averages 25.3+ MPH in his events. He's young and strong and extremely determined ..... and as I write this, Jackie is here in Wickenburg for a week of training. His next competition is in Mississippi in mid-April.

So, how did Brian and Hoyt get together? Over a bike seat post, clamp and the perfect aerodynamic riding position. Let me tell you more.

On my way home from Safeway on my bike last night another cyclist (turned out to be Jackie) caught up with me. Is there a bike shop in Wickenburg he wanted to know? No. But maybe I can help? Yeah, my seat clamp is loose and the post slips and I can't keep the seat position right.

So I took the clamp off my Giant, gave it to Jackie, along with my contact info. "Send the seat post clamp back when you're finished training," I offered. "And best of luck in Mississippi!"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Best Independent Java Joint in Town.

My new best friend Denise moved from Washington State last fall and opened Casita Coffee here in Wickenburg. Her iced lattes are my faves, and as good as you can get.

Speaking of faves, Denise tells me that old Poppy is her fave customer!

Great looking store, great service, great coffee, and a great retail addition to our little town.

Check it out if you're passing through.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Coast-to-Coast Roadies (plus Me).

I had such a cool time this afternoon with my new cycling pals! And they invited me to join them for a group foto at the Aztec RV Park in Wickenburg where the guys are spending the nite.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Gerry (on the left above), Ron (to my left) and Jim departed San Diego eight days ago on their way to St. Augustine, FL. Ron hadn't toured much since college (he's a bio-tech engineer from Sacramento). Jim rides long distances regularly from his home base in Charlotte, NC. And Gerry, who's retired and lives in North Conway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, decided on a whim that it was time for him to pedal from sea to shining sea.

Our intrepid cyclists connected on-line at . They actually met the day they left CA for FL. And from my observation, these three former strangers have bonded about as well as two-wheelers can do. Their adventures are posted on a blog at address above.

Nancy and I put together a care package to take down to Aztec: a big bag of peanuts, a can of sardines, white corn tortilla chips, organic salsa, bananas and some fresh blueberries. My new friends wasted no time inhaling the chow -- and thanking us profusely for the kindness. Indeed, Pina and I qualify for "road angel" status.

Cross country factoids that the guys shared with us:

* riding 50 miles per day is the goal
* 3500 calories is the daily food intake
* 50 calories burned per mile
* 18-wheeler drivers are super careful of cyclists
* the guys sleep in tents at RV parks, paying $10 per night

Someday, as I keep reminding myself; someday I will hit the road like Gerry, Jim and Ron.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy B'day, Unka Joe-D.

Little baby bro, Joe Hoyt, is all growed up now. Today's his 62nd. b'day, and folks are celebrating far and wide.

Joe's wife of 30-plus years Nancy Ann, set out to bake Joe-D's fave gluten-free cake. Into the bowl went the mixings. A loving hand turned the ingredients until they were just right. Then the 350-degree oven down in Coral Gables, FL opened wide to embrace the cake-to-be.

Half an hour later, to hear Joe tell it, there was a "muffled explosion in the kitch. There'd been a chemical reaction of some kind. Nancy's fool-proof cake recipe had gone horribly wrong, and the results, as you see above, were the birthday bummer of all time."

Off to bed J + N went, big smile on their faces in spite of the cake catastrophe, but nary a nibble of dessert in their bellies.

"There's always next year," as Nancy mused philosophically.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Terman Takes a Turn in Ethiopia.

You've read on my blog often about the Termans, my good friends in Boulder, CO.

Artists, activists, world travelers, and dear folks with a highly developed sense of personal sacrifice, James and Carolyn make at least one trip each year to some far-off spot in service to local residents in need.

This year it's Ethiopia, and medical clinics in Addis-Ababa and the surrounding country side.

While Carolyn helps out in the clinic -- registering patients, taking medical histories, reassuring fearful patients, etc. -- illustrator James sketches physicians and nurses at work, and helps engage their local patients.

When the medical service trip is over, and babies have been delivered, cut chins stitched, broken bones set, and health care plans discussed with patients, James publishes a book of illustrations he's made and presents to local Ethiopian officials, the patients themselves, and the volunteer medical staff who travel around the world, on their own nickel, to service people less fortunate than they.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Pups.

This just in: little dogs in Coconut Grove, FL get all dressed up for St. Pat's Day.

Brother Joe Hoyt captures the clan with Canon G 11. Peculiar pups preen the green.

Bow, wow.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pappy Gaggia and his Granddaughter.

You've seen a foto or two on this blog of brother-in-law Mark Gaggia. He and my sister Crary live in Freeland, WA on Whidby Island, an hour's ferry boat ride from Seattle.

The Gaggias can't make that voyage often or quickly enough!

Over in Seattle lives little Lucia Crary Parent, pride and joy (and first grandchild) of Crary and Mark. She's just adorable .. as anyone looking at this picture can see. "Lulu's" mom and dad, Emily and Travis, seem very agreeable to letting the senior Gaggias babysit.

And that includes encouraging Mark to hold that beautiful child in a funky yellow sling!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Western Screech Owl at Pierce's house.

Our good pal Pierce Shaw is a gardener and a birder. Oh, and she's a fine photographer as well.

Just this evening Pierce sent us a foto of this gorgeous Western Screech Owl that hangs out in the Shaw's yard.

The Screecher's fave spot is a ribbon palm right outside the desk window in Pierce's house. You can catch a glimpse of Mr. Owl in his habitat in the picture here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

At 52nd Annual Heard Indian Market.

What an incredible experience Nancy and I had yesterday. We got a special education in Native American art, culture, music, dance and politics.

We drove with our friend Lisa down to Phoenix for the 52nd Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market. Hundreds of artisan exhibitors, from all over North America, came for the big sale.

They took booths to show off their silver and turquoise jewelry, ceramics, baskets, bead work, sculpture, clothing, and oil paintings (like the ones done by Monte O. Yellow Bird, pictured above, along with his family).

Plus, there was a drill team, singers and dancers, a food court, and lots of moving and humble tributes and invocations to the Spirits who made it possible for all Indian People (and we visitors and buyers) to get together on a bright and cheery Spring day.

I bought a small basket from Max "Sanipass" Romero, who is part Mi'kmaq, Laguna and Taos Pueblo. Pina admired the extraordinary beautiful dolls made by Rhonda Holy Bear. And inside the Heard Museum were exceptional pieces by the Chiricahua Apache, Allan Houser.

Coming on the heels of the Winter Olympics from Vancouver, where First Nation traditions were celebrated and honored, this day at the Heard taught me just how little I know about the people and cultures already here in America, thousands of years before the first Hoyt ever set foot on our soil.