Monday, February 11, 2008

Worth A Thousand Words

My critics have spoken.

Well, make that critic, singular.
I've heard sniping from my audience that my new blog isn't visual enough. People want pictures, says my critic. He is what he likes to call a "visual-arts professional," meaning he takes, or took, pictures for money. Now he plays with video, too. So he thinks things should look pretty.

My critic said people want to see pictures of me, and especially pictures of cycling stuff, because this is a bike-oriented blog - nominally, at least. And, he observed, every other bike blog contains pictures of the owner's dog, so that must be important.
I agree with those propositions generally, and I am certainly a dog lover. But got a little bristly and defensive when he mentioned this in the context of my nascent blog.
My words are my art, I snapped in reply, and my art is pure.
Moreover, I pointed out that my blog has a photograph -- a shot of me doing an off-the-front vanity run past my mom and other family members just seconds before I wrecked on the third-to-last turn of a race in St. Louis. And didn't I just illustrate one of last week's posts with a photo of Monroe, Mich.?

Not good enough, he countered. He pointed out snidely, but perhaps correctly, that my blog's readership is in the single digits -- specifically, an up-and-down digit with no curves or intersecting lines. "You want to grow that number," he remarked with understated insight.

I thanked him for his constructive observations as the smoking brass shell casings from my Glock tinkled around his body and rolled across the floor. His rebuke stung. But damn if he didn't have a point. My entire audience demanded more pictures. Would I be selling my soul just to cater to popular tastes? Or would I be enriching my art by making it a multimedia experience?
My new journey in life is dedicated to answering those questions. I've approached today's post with new wisdom. Here goes:
Monday, Feb. 11, 2008
Well, the weather this weekend sure wasn't very conducive to cycling, eh? Sunday's wind-chill factor last I checked stood at -23. Couldn't round up a single riding partner. So I went skating, which is a pretty darn good cycling workout.

But first, I spent a lot of time on the trainer. I hate trainers. But it wasn't so bad today: I watched back-to-back episodes of "Band of Brothers," which really helped pass the time. And I developed a new motivational tool that turns the trainer from something to tolerate into something to celebrate. Just so happens took a picture of myself using it:

I'm a big believer in pictures -- always have been, always will be.

I did manage to get about 90 minutes of outdoor riding in over the weekend -- specifically, from 10-11:30 p.m. on Friday. Believe it or not, that's not a horrible time to ride, especially when Friday night was about 100 degrees warmer than Saturday.

I couldn't get anyone to ride with me, needless to say. Not even my regular riding partner. Well, regular is probably not the right word. Let's just say his record for showing up for our rides is spotty. And we gotta stop at every goddamn fire hydrant ... and I have to bring TWO plastic bags on every ride because of his unpredictability. Nonetheless, he warrants a picture on my new visuals-oriented blog:

Today it's Monday. It is about 6 degrees outside today, but the wind died down to the point where the wind-chill factor has soared to -10 F. I would've ridden if I could've found the time, but I fell a bit behind this morning. Speaking of behind: Others were out enjoying the warm weather as I (shudder) drove to work. Fortunately, I had my camera:

I hope you found this more appealing.

- JN


Rick said...

your a sick puppy....puppy, get it?

Mike N. said...

I read your blog all the time. It saves me from having to do things like laundry, or cleaning the apartment, or writing in my own blog. So now your readership has curves. Ooo la la!

ds said...

Only sellouts put photos on their blogs. Like me.