APRR WebLog Archives: December 2003

Monday, December 29, 2003

Our Zunday zleeper zkate
On Sunday - December 28, 2003
(Part 1 of 2)

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like the rest of us,
was having a good day,
but... ...
was up to nothing good.

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But then again... ...
neither was Allison!

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S-H-A-B-A-M !!!
If you don't intend to have a good day,
but intend to be good... ...
then don't mess with APRR !!!

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The REAL artists were quite PISSED!

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Lisa tries to console one of the artists
by spraying-on some of her tender love...

"...I'm sorry that I didn't introduce myself
before, but you guys painted our door at
our fitness studio...
...and it looks really good..."

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Rickson tries to make sense of APRR.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 03:55 AM EDT [Link]

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skaters
Who Is APRR???

This is the Weblog’s inaugural “Who Is APRR???”

And here’s how it works: With ten questions asked to a single person, you (the reader) must guess which one of ten optional people the answers to the ten questions are about. What you do with your selected answer – I can care less. If you want to email your answer to me – I can care less. If you want to harass the person who you think that the answers pertain to – I can care less. If you want to personally interview each of the ten people in order to determine which one person all ten answers pertain to – again, I can care less.

But there is one thing that I do care about: If you enjoy this “Who Is APRR???” game, which I hope to do, I ask that you email to me a question or two or three that can be used for future games. (Be creative!) I would like to make use of a different set of questions for each game – and it would be nice if the questions were not ALL from MY head, or my own probing. Diversity of perspective can be key.

Once an “APRR person” has been featured, I intend to omit them from future games (since you'll already have learned some things about that person... like my grandmother says, "There's more fish in the sea"). For this game, my definition of an “APRR person” is simple and is as follows:

An APRR Person is any person or living companion of a person who has participated in any type of prearranged skating activity or non-skating activity in the company of one or more persons who claim to be associated with APRR; where, the defined APRR person participates in the said prearranged activity and is aided by or has permitted the use of some type of human powered device of mobility that utilizes wheels, whether skates, a bicycle, travel luggage, etc.; or else, participates physically or other than physically without the assistance of such device or devices; as well as, claims to have participated with any person or persons or companion of such who claim to be associated with APRR within the parameters of the time period of the existence of APRR, which being since the origin of the APRR organization, as chartered or not, whenever that may have been.

The answer of the correct candidate will be provided in the next “Who Is APRR???” game. If all goes well with this and my schedule, I hope to post this game somewhat regularly. Please let me know what you think. And don’t hesitate to provide both input and game questions.

Here are this inaugural game’s candidates (to be read vertically):

1 –. 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10

A – A – B – B – B – D – H – J –. J – M
N – N – O – R – R – E – E – A – E – A
N – N – N – U – E – B – N – N – N –.R
-- –E –. N –C – N – -- –R –. I – N –.K
L – -- –.I – E – D – C – Y – C –.I ––
A – W –.E – - –A – H – -- – E – F –.D
B –. I –.- – Z – -- . I – Z – -- . E –.A
A – L –. B –A – C – C – U – H – R –.Y
R – S –. I ..V – A – H – V –.A – -- – -
--.–O –-N –O – R – E – E –. J – H – --
-- –N –-G –D – L – S –. R – E – A – --
-- – -- –L –N – T –.T – -- –.K .. N – --
-- – -- –E –Y – O –.E – -- – -- ..S – --
-- – -- – -- – -.N –.R – -- – -- ..E – --
-- – -- – -- – -- – -- – -- – -- ..N – --

1) What is your most memorable experience?
Skatewise, surviving Athens to Dacula

2) What is the best advice you've received?
Never burn your bridges

3) What is something you still want to do?
Travel all over the world – via plane, train, bus, skates and bikes

4) What is one of your most satisfying accomplishments?
Raising two beautiful, well-adjusted (well almost) daughters

5) What is something that has surprised you about life?
How people continue to change throughout the years.
Who you are today may not be the person you are in the future.
Hopefully, we all continue to grow and improve.

6) What is one of your worst habits?
Asking too many questions – curious little ole me.

7) What might you be doing now if not in your present career?
Interior Design – heavily loaded with purple!

8) What are some favorite activities besides skating?
Biking, kayaking and skiing

9) What is a little-known fact about you?
I used to live in KY, OK, CA, TX and NY

10) What is your favorite dessert?
Anything chocolate

Posted by marcstpierre @ 02:17 PM EDT [Link]

Our Ice Skating Adventure
On Friday Night - December 12, 2003
(Photos and captions by Mark R)

Mark R invited all of APRR to "The Cooler," in Alpharetta, GA for what just may be the first annual, official APRR ice skating event. Many of APRR wanted to know if Alpharetta was still within Georgia. Although a few of us live in the area, a number of APRR considered traveling to the suburb to be more or less a weekend road trip. Most everyone was happy to learn that the prospering Roswell/Alpharetta area was not quite as far away as Dahlonega or even Tennessee.

There were 25-30 APRR inline skaters on blades that Saturday night. It was quite obvious that a few of these skaters had been on ice before, perhaps fairly recently. But no one showed us up like Mark R did. He was more or less like a zooming, zigzagging electron, bouncing off atomic walls. But unlike all the other electrons spinning around the large ice rink, Mark was capable of coming to an immediate and abrupt stop. Ice would spray all over the place. Skating, both on asphalt and on ice, is quite obviously Mark's niche.

Hitting the rink and skating in a continuous counter-clockwise circle seemed a little monotonous after a while, but I would’ve been hard pressed to get any of those attending to vouch that they weren’t having a marvelously cool time. We then celebrated what seemed to be Donald S’s 30th B-day at the nearby Bahama Breeze restaurant.

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Mark D trying to decide if he should join Jim and the
rest of the skaters on the ice. Mark offered a point
that skating from point “A” to point “B” is much more
fun than always skating in the same circle.

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This smile should be enough to convince anyone
that ice-skating can be a whole lot of fun. Paula BP
was enjoying herself so much, laughing so much,
that she complained her abs were sore! You go girl !!!

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Dude reel that tongue back in. Carl, you’re doing
great on the ice!!!

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Brenda C was happy to have a firm grasp on “the Iceman.”

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Brenda, Marc, and Allison B

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Elizabeth D celebrates her three turn spin with Cindy S.
“How did you like that move!!!,” joyously exclaimed
Elizabeth. In turn, Cindy had been showing off her stuff
at center ice, in the face off circle.

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Despite the assurances that you could not get road rash,
Elizabeth managed to stick herself with her own skates.
The tummy rash wasn’t the only place that Elizabeth
managed to hurt herself. Keeping the APRR Road Rash
Full Disclosure policy Elizabeth bared all.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 01:52 PM EDT [Link]

Our Camping Trip Up At Amicalola Falls, GA
On November 19-21, 2003
By Mark R

APRR’s annual camping trip to Amicalola Falls on the weekend of November 21st was a great success! It was especially memorable from all the hard work, preparation, and camping gear that both Mark D and others had put into the outing. Helping hands provided everything from the luxurious kitchen setup to the evenly sawed, split, and stacked seasoned wood. The weekend turned out to be one fantastic camping experience!

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Guest appearance at the camp site: Paul Bunyan.

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Bill suspended as if he was posing for this picture.
Did he fall into the creek?

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Obviously someone liked Bill B’s PJ’s!
“Where is it that I can get a sexy pair
like that? If I wear jammies like that,
will I get the same attention?”

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Brenda, who initially served as the fire council president
(as evident by the fire council headdress) attempts to
send smoke signals to neighboring campers. Not only did
the rest of the council not know what the signals meant,
it was night – and dark out. "Brenda, can you wait and
send the signals in the morning? Besides, we don’t yet
have food prepared for all our neighbors."

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Despite the cold temperature, the warmth of the fire drew
us all close together. Not too close – as the fire was almost
always roaring. In fact, we could feel cold air rushing around
our ankles as the fire drew oxygen to sustain itself. For fun,
we tossed several wine bottles into the roaring fire pit. The
glass melted within minutes after being introduced to the hot
blaze. Can you say, “800 degrees plus!!!”

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Fire council president, Brenda, and voting council member,
George, admire the magnificent fire.

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With a scant amount of firewood remaining, the fire council
decided to sacrifice the remaining fuel to the morning fire.
It helped take the chill from the morning air. Last night’s
fire council grand-pubar was no where to be seen.

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Supporting the theory: “If it burns you once on the way
down, it will surely burn you a second time!” Mark D’s
Five Alarm Chili made a great breakfast dish; although,
one brave soul had three helpings for dinner (Mark R.).
You had to taste it to believe just how hot it was.
Great job Mark D!!!

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Complete with paper towel holder, this is the ultimate
camping kitchen setup. It was obvious that Mark has
done this before. In fact, I think some of this gear
was handed down from previous Day generations.
The four-course breakfast was delicious!

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“Who put this log here? Did I, the self-appointed fire
council president, authorize this log placement?…
Do you notice the significance of my hat?”

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Spectacular Amicalola Falls!
(Located just west of Dahlonega, GA.)

Posted by marcstpierre @ 01:50 PM EDT [Link]

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

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AK-13D_5.0_Gray (16k image)


AK-13D_5.0_Tan (16k image)


AK-13D_5.0_Red (16k image)


AK-13D_5.0_Purple (16k image)

Posted by marcstpierre @ 09:25 PM EDT [Link]

Monday, December 22, 2003

Our Zunday zleeper zkate (Zzz)
On Sunday Afternoon - December 21, 2003

The weather was pristine! Cool at first, but actively warming up. “I don’t know if I should wear these sweatpants or not,” exclaimed Chuck O (he’s always worried how he looks). Jethro J was bundled up though. And you should have seen Allison B’s leg warmers. They were candy apple red Christmas stockings with the brilliant white fluffy stuff at the top. However, most of us were wearing gloves of one type or another (bicycle, ski, whatever worked)

“My gloves have nylon on the outside,” noted Allison. “They’re used to grip a ski pole. See these two white strips are nylon. I spent $50 bucks on them.”

Mims and his wife of beauty were with us too, but no skates were on their feet. “I know it’s hard to recognize us,” mentioned Jenny. “But we’re not skating this morning. We’re just goin’ to hang-out here in the Park. Diversity is a healthy thing.” Mims must have been in on the same bizarre plan because he seemed to be just as happy as Jenny. Jenny seemed to be in a VERY happy mood.

After showing us his Christmas present to himself (a digital camera from Target or Walmart or someplace like that) Chuck gathered the Zunday zleeping zkaters for a ztroll through the zurroundings. “We’re going to Caribou at Piedmont & Monroe and then onto the Ansley residential area… Okay, Lets Roll !!!” And the next thing we knew, Chuck had taken off. (But he was wearing a fluorescent green/yellow jacket - - and wasn’t hard to find.)

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Charlie and Merlin are two of the many dogs that were in
Piedmont Park today. Everywhere we looked, there were
dogs. “Merlin loves to be carried like this,” vouched the
young gentleman for his dog. “I carried him like this once
a couple years ago, and now everywhere I go, he likes to
be carried like this.”

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Jethro says: “I’m flexing. Can you see my flex?”
(I had accidentally left the magnifying glass at home - -
so I couldn’t really tell.)

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Allison B & her hot chocolate.
It didn’t take long to get to Caribou at Piedmont & Monroe.
Everything’s downhill when you think in terms of getting
coffee or hot chocolate.

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Ann S.
Actually, her hair was something like this (but not to this
extent) and she took off her helmet and brushed it neatly
back behind her ear with one of her fingers – before placing
her helmet back on. “No, wait, wait, it looked so pretty the
way it was,” I assured her. “Put it back the way it was so
I can take a picture of how pretty you looked.” So she did.

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Ann & Chuck in the Ansley residential
area, on a most lovely Sunday afternoon.

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Allison, Ann, and George W & The Fire Boyz, just off
Lanier Blvd.

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Finishing off Lanier Ave. and heading left onto
N. Highland Ave.

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Once we got to North Highland, after traveling the length
of Lanier, our leader, Chuck, noticed that one of his skaters,
Allison, was actually double fisted.

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Skaters on North Highland Ave.
(Jim M, Allison, George, Ken O, and Chuck)

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The “foot” of a "Blind Person Crossing The Street"
type yield sign at North Highland & Ponce de Leon

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Making progress up the long and steep N. Highland hill.
(George, Ken, Jim, Paul H, Allison, and Ann)

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APRR’s Paul H

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May I present to you “Shabaz!”
Shabaz was more than happy to see George.
Shabaz’s owner was less than happy to see
Shabaz jumping up against the dangerous side
railing of the N. Highland Ave. overpass of
Freedom Parkway.
Shabaz was more happy than George, because
George was almost pushed up and over the side
railing of the N. Highland Ave. overpass, and
smack onto Freedom Parkway.
I was just happy to get the photo of Shabaz
being so happy with APRR..
He’d probably make a good APRR candidate.
We’re all happy… right???

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Livening-up an otherwise stupid form of art made
from CMU blocks. (At first I thought this was an
abandoned construction site, but then I realized that
the former mayor had probably paid someone a lot
of money for it. - - or would it have been the other
way around?)
(Chuck, Jim, Paul’s bicycle, George, Ann, and Allison)

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Some Christmas spirit.
“…these really aren’t leg warmers, although some
people think they are. They’re actually Christmas
stockings that I cut the bottom out of. They help
make me look like I’m in the Christmas spirit…
Do you like them?”

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Some more Christmas spirit.
(… and deep within her, she’s got lots!!!)

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Allison and I at the Piedmont Park Tavern.

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Jim getting roasted.
I mean, toasted.
I mean, tasting a good time.

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Paul H in his own, unique element.

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The “Magnolia Tree Band,”
as discovered in Piedmont Park.

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A very kind lady, enjoying the afternoon
in Piedmont Park. “Mam, may I take your
picture?,” I asked.

“Why… Sure… You… May,” she said, with
the same, pleasant smile that you now see
on her face.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 08:13 AM EDT [Link]

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night – December 15, 2003

In terms of winter, and considering it’s been snowing in lots of other places, tonight was truly a wonderful skate-night. We’d had a fair amount of rain recently, but tonight, well, tonight we could see almost every star in the sky. And while in the Carter Center parking lot, I glanced over to the adjacent parking stall to see Don R begin to haul his equipment out the back of his covered pick-up truck. A star-like twinkle was in his eye (on the other side of his cosmic eyeglasses). It was a twinkle of ambition - - an ambition of a solid workout to come. A workout of his big, oversized wheels. Wheels that make Don shine like a star. And just below the constellation in his eyes, Don wore a smile that resembled a crescent moon. Well, sort’a like one. Don was in Heaven. (Or seemed ta’ be.)

And across the parking lot aisle were David K and Paul B. And Allison B and Paula BP were there too. “What are you doing out here naked? And with no shoes or socks on?,” Elizabeth D asked out loud as she walked toward me. (I was sitting on the semi-frozen asphalt and changing-out wheels, while only wearing spandex shorts and a sweatshirt – but removed the sweatshirt when I noticed her approaching me.) The temperature was in the mere low-30’s, but that couldn’t have bothered me much. I perhaps was thinking of how much warmer I was to be anchored to the Georgian earth, without much on, than if I were to be floating around somewhere in outer space, amongst the twinkling stars (which I’ve been doing a lot of for the past several weeks).

In a big, warm, white fleece pullover and black, curly hair flowing down onto the shoulders, Lori K stood before us during the announcements. She was here to tell us about the January 2nd Chick Fillet – Peach Bowl Parade that’ll be televised on CBS for the first time ever. (She cried out... “yea!”... for all of us.) This means that APRR will be televised on CBS for the first time because Lori and new hubby, Russell, have provided us with an entry spot in the parade. Since this obligation has cost the newlyweds $150, it’s being asked that those who attend the Parade to please reimburse Lori $5 per person. (Which I believe is not enough... As you and I know, she and her big heart are worth far more than a hundred times that.) Oh – and the sweet thing is, is that any money received above and beyond the pre-paid entry fee will be allocated to GIRSA.

If you DO wish to attend the Peach Bowl Parade (or are able to) - - please wear an APRR jersey or jacket. (There will be a “Sports Atlanta” theme!) And if you’re indeed serious about attending, but don’t have an APRR garment (YET !!!), please ask around - - and we’ll get one for you to wear during this special, fun-filled occasion. Thanks Lori and Russell for all your time and help on this!!!

So, back to the gathering of tonight’s skaters: there were a fair amount of us. The problem was, was that as Lori was talking, all of us became frozen. Our brains froze too. And when it came time to decide upon a skating leader, we learned that our tongs were even frozen. “Who wants to lead tonight?,” called out Elizabeth D. No spoken words… only visible breath rising from noses and frozen open mouths.

Soon, Donald S spoke up by saying, “It can’t be me leading because once I get out of the parking lot, I’m lost.” None of us responded, or even looked at him. We were frozen.

“Okay, okay, I’ll lead a group, but it’ll be a beginner to intermediate group,” gave in Lisa M. Good enough!

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Beth D, Nancy G, Paula BP, and Lisa M try to stay warm
during the red light at N. Highland & Ponce de Leon avenues.

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APRR’s Kim watches out for skaters as she drives
her car along N. Highland Ave.

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Lisa was beside herself. She could not believe that she had
just lead ALL the skaters down a steep hill on E. Morningside
and into a cul-de-sac. “This is my FIRST Dead End Street
– EVER !!!…,” she emphasized to us. “I’m SOOO Embarrassed!”
Once back at the top of the hill, one of the skaters kindly
pointed out the Dead End sign to Lisa. She wanted nothing
more to do with the sign or that street. “The houses were
pretty though,” she quietly mumbled to herself.

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The camera hadn’t even fired yet when Dr. Yong HT
started thanking me for taking his picture. I tell you
what, I’ve yet to meet someone as ambitious and loving
as Yong. He not only has tons of enthusiasm toward
skating and toward APRR, but he’s more than wanting
to contribute his love of life to other people. Make no
mistake about it, Yong has a large, golden heart !

Posted by marcstpierre @ 09:02 AM EDT [Link]

Our Turkey Roll
On Sunday Morning - November 30, 2003

If there is one single event that I’d been waiting a year for (well, besides the Miami Great EsSkate), it was this exact Turkey Roll. I’m not suggesting that I helped to organize it or anything like that. It’s just that I’d been mentally dreaming about it for… well… a year.

Enter Javier (from Puerto Rico) and Isabel (from Columbia).

Javier is one of the handfuls of good friends of mine living in Miami. He’s not a drug dealer or anything like that. Simply… well… a close friend. So he telephoned me a couple months back: “What are you doing for Thanksgiving???,” he excitedly asked in his Puerto Rican accent. I at first thought I was being invited to either Puerto Rico or to where the rest of his family lives, in Peru. (But Thanksgiving is simply an American-type thing. So I surmised that the phone call was about a long weekend type trip – to New Orleans or Cancun.) “Do you mind if my girlfriend and I come up to Atlanta and have Thanksgiving with your family?” Actually, most Latino people are not so direct when positioning their questions. Neither really is Javier. He did quite a bit of talking before coming to the point.

And during the next telephone conversation that I had with him, I learned that he had purchased a plane ticket; though not happily. (He ordered the ticket when it was way too much money; and chose a flight that stopped and changed planes in Charlotte, N.C - as opposed to flying directly and non stop to ATL from MIA.) I learned that he was to arrive into Atlanta on Thursday during the exact time when my family was to be eating Thanksgiving dinner; and, departing back to Miami during the exact time when APRR was to be carrying out my year long dream.

MARTA came to mind… I slept on the idea for four nights straight. The dreams turned into a nightmare. And the nightmares turned into no sleep. Nah, I couldn’t do that to my good friend.

Although I missed out the skating portion of the Turkey Roll, I can vouch that the weather was beyond perfect for the occasion. There was not any way that one could ask for a nicer day! It was The Best !!! And when I did arrive to the Continental Park Café, in downtown Stone Mountain (after having taken Javier & Isabel to the airport), the satisfaction could be read on pretty much everyone’s face. Everyone was sooo… relaxed, and sooo… chilled-out, and sooo… much having a good time. I was with my friend Annette, who’d traveled from Germany to also have Thanksgiving with my family. The two of us were able to easily fit right in with the relaxed and chilled-out skaters.

So, what makes the Turkey Roll so special to APRR? It is not merely the true fact that there’s a fair amount of tradition involved; but hey, what more can one ask for? The annual event is a moderate round trip distance, say 25 or 35 miles – where you feel as though you’ve accomplished something on an otherwise sleepy day (well, except for the game of football in the front yard). People of all ages participate in the Turkey Roll. All the people who do participate are warm, friendly, and accommodating to each other (unlike the friends and family members in the game of football in the front yard). There is almost always a good turn out of us, say 25 or 35 skaters. And the coffee, brunch/lunch/dinner (whatever you think it should be called) beer, wine, dessert, etc. etc, is always just what the doctor ordered. Let me tell you my friends, the Turkey Roll is something for any level of skater, and is ALWAYS something to look forward to. Thanks Paul and Cindy for your ongoing contribution.

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One of the very first images that I made with my new
Nikon D1X digital camera was this one of Isabel & Javier,
on Thanksgiving evening, during their visit to Atlanta.

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Aaron, Annette (from the Thuringen area of Germany) and I,
on the Silver Comet Trail, later in the day of the Turkey Roll.

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(Photo by Tom S.) Elizabeth D and Lisa M warming up
at the Freight Room, in downtown Decatur, a little before
10:30 AM, which is where and when the Turkey Roll
officially began.

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(Photo by Tom S.) And they’re off! Brenda C and Michele R
leading Jethro J and a flock of others on Claredon Ave. from
S. Avondale Rd to N. Clarendon Ave., in Avondale Estates - -
migrating to Stone Mountain, via a bunch of other roads.

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(Photo by Tom S.) At the Continental Park Café.
Most were able to take a seat inside as they
waited for the great food and hot drinks.
((lower left, clockwise: Jody R, Mark D, Mark R,
Brenda C, ??? (please help w/ name), Scott J,
Jenny R (behind Scott), Carl C (looking back),
Bruce B, Paul H (with peace sign), Mims R (mostly
hidden), Jim M, Jethro J, Debbie Y (in white and
hidden), Jay M, Greg T. Not seen to the right
are Grace & Dan S))

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At the Continental Park Café
(clockwise: Mims R, Jenny R, Michele R, Bruce B,
Jethro J, Caroline B, Miguel P, Jim M.)

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Typical of a peaceful time.
(Deb Y and Grace & Dan S)

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River T and father, Greg.

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(Photo by Tom S.) Lisa M trying to ordering lunch:
"…but I'd like the pie heated and I don't want the ice cream
on top, I want it on the side, and I'd like strawberry instead
of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped
cream but only if it's real; if it's out of the can then nothing.”

And Carl C wondering why he got up so early to migrate so far.

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A few of us thought it would be nice to grab a four-top outside.
We had it all - good view, good food, great company - but a
little cold! (clockwise: Bruce Z, Cindy S, Paul K, Deb C)

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(Photo by Tom S.) Carl C & Sweet Paula BP.

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On the balcony
(clockwise: Jerry B, Rickson C, Carl C, Paula BP)

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Paula BP

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Tom S hides easily behind Elizabeth D’s
huge 100’s. (Elizabeth had taken liberty
to utilize Tom’s legs to rest her own.)

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Paul K and Deb C check-out of the
Continental Park Café. There were so
many of APRR there that our tummies
had no more rooms available.

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Skater Gossip outside the Continental Park Café,
in the quaint, downtown Stone Mountain
(Mark D, Mark R, and Bruce B)

msp_031130_17 (16k image)
Outside the Continental Park Café
Jody R, Grace & Dan S - Cindy S, Deb C, and Paul K.

msp_031130_18 (16k image)
(Photo by Tom S.) Burning off the calories from lunch
along E. Ponce De Leon Ave, on the way back to the
Freight Room in Decatur. (Mark R in front, Jerry B,
Bruce B, and Brenda C leading the others)

msp_031130_19 (16k image)
(Photo by Tom S.) Lisa M taking a break as we waited
for the train to pass.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 09:02 AM EDT [Link]

Our Zunday zleeper zkate (Zzz)
On Sunday – November 23, 2003
By Chuck O.

Wow! At noon the Temperature was hovering near 70 degrees. This is November? Are we in North
America? Cool! Well… not cool… Warm! But GREAT!!!

After placing my faith in the weather forecast announced earlier in the week, I had already decided to return the Zzz back to the patio at Jake's for ice cream & coffee. My faith ended up being right on target.

We had with us 12 skaters (yes, Renee was here again): two were newbies (APRR’s Dan D and Annette H from Germany); and a host of Zzz alumni (yes, Renee is in the forefront). With Jethro joining us in Piedmont Park on his 7000mm wheels (bike), we took off toward the first Caribou – the oh-so-important coffee shop stop. After grabbing a “to go,” it was here that Jethro decided to leave us, and head on home to Buckhead. He had already done the morning Airport Bicycle Ride.

From Caribou, we skated to Centennial Park and to its fountain. It seemed a little weird to me to see kids playing in the fountain while Marc Sk8 Pierre was taking a picture of us standing in front of a freshly erected Christmas tree. After the picture, I had to admit to the dozen of us that living for a long period of time in one particular city comes in handy. Since this described Bill C, I eagerly turned the reigns over to him so that he could direct us back to Highland Ave for ice cream. I knew where I wanted to go, I just didn’t know how to get there. A big thank-you to Bill!

We spent a fair amount of time at Jake’s. And afterward, it was time to head back to Piedmont Park and head over to Willy's. All of us wanted to continue to enjoy a summer day in November.


As much as I like having new people come out and join us for the Zzz – street skating, even at the beginning level, requires a certain level of technical ability. For the Zzz, you do not need to have a huge cardio-respiratory capacity; HOWEVER, downhill braking and turning skills are a prerequisite for any type of street skating. For us within APRR, please remember that the basic skills we take for granted are not necessarily mastered by all skaters who participate with us. Having this minimum of a downhill breaking and turning ability will help us to avoid a potential medical situation, or perhaps a legal one. Being able to brake and turn comfortably on downhills can help make skating a more enjoyable experience for everyone who participates with APRR.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 09:01 AM EDT [Link]

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Wednesday Night – November 19, 2003

Tonight was yet another gift from the skating gods to our thirsty souls. As if the evening had been carefully placed upon a silver platter for our wanting desires. But more realistically, the night had been chilled in an ornately handcrafted crystal vase and carefully poured into our warm, skater hearts. The equal mixture of warm hearts and chilled weather made skating under a precisely defined moon something of a religious experience. We might as well have taken a cold shower at the pool house, have run across the patio and around the lawn chairs, and leapt into the lukewarm pool to experience the warmest of spiritual sensations. The coolness of the weather was meaningless: the warmth of fellowship offered by fellow skaters – was universal.

Elizabeth D glided up to the alter like an angle during our gathering of worship at the Carter Center. “Listen up everyone, I have some announcements to make… Mark “Rickson” C, from New York, is joining us for the first time.” The congregation then raised their communion glasses in the form of a holy toast. Also new in our congregation tonight was Joel (from Washington D.C. and everywhere else), who has become somewhat a nomadic skating spirit.

Father C. Little raised his voice in order to calm the baptism of our newborn. “There is a retreat up at Amicalola Falls this weekend,” he announced from behind the pulpit in his stern, but soft & calming voice. Our congregation melted back into the wooden pews. We always feel at ease with his blessings. “Some are goin’ up Friday Night – most Saturday mornin’ – campin’ – and then leavin’ Sunday mid-morning / early afternoon.” There was a big and boisterous “Amen!” that was shouted simultaneously from below the glowing colored glass of the elevated parking lot lamps. The cathedral ceiling reverberated our sense of pleasure and appeasement. We then passed the broken bread, knowing that Mark D would make at least one big meal for us.

Brother Ken O ushered an offering plate to the congregation. The donations were charitable to the beauty and heritage of Charleston, S.C. It was Sister Brenda C. who offered the biggest donation. “This is a weekend bike ride, but we can also skate it. Everything I’ve heard about this sounds absolutely awesome!” Our heads slowly rose-up from prayer as we now saw the golden light of Brenda’s beaming smile and the halo of honesty & truth above her head.

The Charleston Bike Ride (December 5th , 6th , and 7th ) is also a camping trip. “Everyone at Claxton was raving about it,” responded Brother Ken. For a donation of $55, we are to be fed four wholesome meals, provided free ground to warship during the night, and are given an ample amount of road to “Spiritually Guide Ourselves” in our praise to the skating gods. On Saturday, we can bike or skate anywhere from 30 to 100 miles (30 for the weak hearted and 100 for the more devout. Of course, we ALL should become devout skaters.) And once you’ve made it through the day, you’ll be blessed with a fellowship party on Saturday night – which is an “oyster thinggy.” (And don’t forget – lots of oysters can mean lots of great love & spiritualness in an overcrowded sleeping bag.)

Not only is a traditional 40 mile worship service held on Sunday morning, but an informative Sunday School is also provided. The more informal Sunday school will teach us about the history and heritage of downtown Charleston. But you can bet on the farm and the skate gods that our spiritual hunger will grow stronger, cauz’ we’ll be able to tour culinary kitchens - - where our never completely satisfied souls will be educated with formal Charleston Cooking, as provided by some of the Charleston area’s various chefs. Plus, while were over there, we’ll be able to tour some kind of historical boat or arc (that’s still floating), and even witness a parade of holy boats, that have not yet sunk. All of this for $55. Wow!!!

Our local congregation of skaters at the Carter Center Skater Worship Center (CCSWC) became at awe with all the blessed things that Brenda had to say about the Charleston event. It was much like a mystical revelation.

Also announced was information about the up & coming annual Turkey Roll – which will depart from the Freight Room (located in downtown Decatur) at 10:30AM, on Sunday, November 30th. Chuck O will lead a P2P skate, which will collaborate with the Turkey Roll. His P2P will depart from the Piedmont Park parking lot at 9:45AM. Regardless of either skating situation (or bring a bike if you wish), you will need to be at the Freight Room or at the parking lot in Piedmont Park prior to these times. And please be geared-up by these times, that we may all depart together – on time, that we may all eat at Stone Mountain Village together – for a long time. (Most likely, there will be a vehicle driven to the Stone Mountain Village, that we can opt to ride home if we become too full. Which is likely!)

Ann S led an intermediate skate tonight. Elizabeth D lead a handful of us on as spanky of a skate as you can imagine, and Paul K took everyone else over to Georgia Tech for SKATE SOCCER !!!

msp_031119_01 (16k image)
After stopping to retie my skate boot, I lost Elizabeth D’s spanky group in the Grand Park area (you can imply that I got spanked), I eventually met up with Ann’s intermediate group. I had been traveling solo, back and fourth on Ormond Street, practicing my sorry skating technique on the street’s smooth pavement and gentle rolling hills. Compared with the small handful of speed skaters in Elizabeth’s group, Ann’s group was quite massive. They continued to trickle into the shady convenience store’s small parking lot, at the intersection of Ormond and Capital Ave. “What a group!,” I was pressed to think to myself. I was totally chilled-out and relaxed. The night was just too beautiful. And here were a whole bunch of most beautiful people on skates.

Eventually, they took-off, and up the Capital Ave hill, toward the Olympic Stadium/Turner Field. Lisa M, Chuck O, and I stayed behind. For the reason I just mentioned, we were soaking-in the entire atmosphere. All of it. And we couldn’t get enough of it tonight!

While skating along side Lisa, up the Capital Ave hill, I turned toward her to candidly fire-off a digital photo. “Wait, wait a minute,” she responded. “I’m not ready.”

msp_031119_02 (16k image)
“What do you mean, ‘I’m not ready’,” I replied. “This is supposed to be a candid photo of you skating up the hill.”

“Yea, but I want to show everyone that I’m working,” she reported.

So I took the photo again. (Actually, I’d take her photo all day long, each and everyday, if I could.)

msp_031119_03 (16k image)
Skating up Piedmont Ave. (George W at right)

msp_031119_04 (16k image)
Lisa coming in for a landing off Piedmont Ave.

msp_031119_05 (16k image)
Tom S, Lisa M, and Mark C just outside Piedmont Park, on their way back to the Carter Center.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 09:01 AM EDT [Link]

Our Zunday zleeper zkate (Zzz)
On Sunday – November 16, 2003
By Chuck O.

“A Summer Treat”

Well, apparently the second "z" was over-emphasized by me, when I rolled out of bed and into my zleepy skates, and forgot to wake my helmet up. So our zig-zagging back for my helmet helped to determine today's Zzz route.

Today was a balmy day that brought back memories of summer, and made those wearing pants feel overdressed. So with only six of us today - - Erickson, Jim C, Stephanie R., Renee W (she’s up for the Attendance Award !), John M, and myself (frightened without my head armor) - - we at first headed off to our see our new Caribou friends at Piedmont & Monroe to help us woe our needed caffeine fix. From there, it was to my place in the Morningside area and to my zleeping helmet. (Wake Up Helmet – you shouldn’t of overslept!!!)

With Jim commenting that he had to be at the Manuel’s Tavern area (Highland and Freedom Parkway) to watch his niece play soccer, we took a sinuous route to get there. Then, I had an inspired moment. What goes best with a balmy, summer-like day, like today? Ice cream! Of course!!! With a commanding decision, I announced that we head to Jake’s Ice Cream for our sit-down break. (Renee was all-over today’s SIT DOWN theory after having a long Saturday night of stand-up fun.) We got our ice cream, malts, and coffee, and sat out on the place’s back porch, which was already setup for our i’z zream party. Well, it seemed that way with a long, vacant coffee table and seats already setup for us. What a summer-like treat today has been! Oops, my i’z zream’s ztartin’ to melt.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 09:01 AM EDT [Link]

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