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February 01, 2009

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Heh. Sounds mostly like a post I could have written myself a few times over the last 4 years.... or maybe I already did... a few times....

My husband is smart, introspective, emotional, and what I call "A Thinker-Out-Louder". Strange things occasionally burble out on the way to organization, and logic, and perhaps a rerun through the rationality-masher. I'm actually grateful that he isn't inclined to writing or audio/video interviews, because people would no doubt skin him alive for his strange, seemingly inflammatory/insane/logic-starved blurts... which were actually only part of the thought-journey to someplace else entirely.

I don't know if any of that sounds familiar, but at any rate I'm highly sympathetic to your family's situation in general and to what you're saying in particular.

Peace on your and yours.

And if you ever want to experience 'out of town but definately not the 'burbs', please ping me. I actually had my first run in with a wild cougar last week just a few miles from the house. :)

Sorry to hear that you guys haven't been able to entirely avoid the bummer-side of life. I really enjoy the blog and I hope things start getting better now-ish!

Amy, Scott, and maybe Chloe too...hang in there...things will get better. I doubt Scott remembers, but I bought his Bruce Gordon front rack several years ago...I love that rack and it is serving me well. I check in on the blog once in awhile and was delighted to see that you have moved to Portland. I think it is a good fit for you. I was on the Marine Dr. path a couple of weeks ago and thought Scott had passed me (everybody on a bike looks the same to me...but this guy was the right size and he had a little beard) but alas...it was a nice chap needing some directions. One of these days I expect I will pass you...and for me...it will be an honor.

Cheers-
Cindi

Keep writing Scott (Sorry Amy). I don't always agree with you but that's what makes it fun. Keep poking Portland too. Everyone knows that it's just Colorado with a rain problem (hah!).

Amy, Scott and Chloe- We are so sorry for your struggles right now and dearly hope things lighten up soon. Yes, you have been through a lot. So, tuck in and let us know when you are ready for some hanging out. We would love to see you again. For a cuppa, a beer, a hug, some knitting, some playing.

Peace-
The Mann Clan

Dear Amy and Scott,

It'd be easy to sit here and say, "Fsck all those PDX douchebags!" but wouldn't be the right approach.

It'd be easy to pile on with chuggin the Haterade, but that wouldn't be right either.

So I'll do the sandwich thing - positive, negative, positive.

First off Amy, Scott saved my life. I repeat: Saved.My.Life. I was getting bigger by the day when I saw the Strib article about him. It took me a month to even go look at my bike in the basement, another month to put air in the tires and yet another month to actually pedal it. I would come home exhausted and so hungry I could gnaw my arm off, but I was doing it. And I had a beacon out there blinking a signal of "Yes, it can be done." Thank you, Scott. Thank you from me and my wife and everyone who benefits from my having seen your example.

Now, listen up Bub. You're not warm and fuzzy. We get that. Maybe it's the east coast thing. Maybe its the musician thing. Maybe you're tired of just being known as the LFOaB. But it wouldn't hurt to pull back the spines and acknowledge that not all of us are in a place where we can be as hard-core as you. You're pretty blessed and you make it look like you take it for granted. If you do, then stop it. Now. If you don't, then it's ok to wave to people on the Greenway when they call your name. Don't act like we're just another distraction from your ride. It's not easy being a hero, Scott. But you have to accept your mantle and all that comes with it, including gracefully accepting both the fans and the haters.

Now, having said that, listen up -- you still have the collective ear of umpteen bojillion people. And you have an eloquence, a wit (though you might want to button that rapier tip) and a verve about you that makes people want to read what you have to say. Don't let the haters stop you. Nil Carborundum Illegitemi, Scott. Do Not Let The Bastards Wear You Down.

So next time you're in the Cities, let folks say thanks. Let them buy you a beer. Let them show you their bikes and listen to them talk about flat tires and sore asses and numb fingers. Learn to say, "Thank you. I appreciate that" to people who aren't Cyclists with a capital C, who own cars and eat meat and work cube jobs -- when they say they're grateful for you, say thanks.

You will always have fans. Me, Yam, Ben, and others. Folks who will always think you rock.

So listen to me: Fvck the haters. Fvck them and feed'em fish heads.

But listen to them, and learn.

Ride on, Bro (and Amy and Chloe)

Scott, Amy & Choe,

You guys are my heroes. Hang in there. Wish I had some better advice. Seasonally speaking, this is a dark-mood time of the year. That can't be helping.

- Jim

Scott, Amy and Chloe:

@Clint said it best, but you're an inspiration to me too.

I see the positive posts about Chloe being the smartest girl on the planet and I think, "Damn, I hope my kid is that cool."

I see the negative posts about getting hollered at by aggro PDX'ers and I wonder why people can't just say, "look, dude's going through a lot of sheet, he's saying some harsh stuff and maybe not thinking through what he posts." And yes, you've said some harsh stuff, but hey, I'm from back east, so I get it when you're bitching.

I could go on a long diatribe about how petty the cycling world is, but that would be a waste of oxygen. It's a petty place, nuff said (and you petty crackers ought to be ashamed of yourselves).

But I still go back to why I started reading this blog in the first place: YOU SAVED YOUR OWN EFFING LIFE and further had the courage to throw that struggle out into the vast network of tubes! Days when I struggle with the challenge of turning my life around, I think about what you've done, and written about, and I think "shiatzu, nothing is impossible."

Keep writin', always. The haters are worse off for hating.

I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of a "feeding frenzy", it sucks. Show them what you're made of Scott!
stacey

I would put some of those "All you haters suck my balls" stickers on the bikes, and carry on, as per usual.

What's the world coming to, if you can't bitch and moan on your own blog?!

Scott, Amy and Chloe,
Don't feel bad, ignore the haters, and keep doing what it is you all do. I just finished moving - six blocks away - and after two weeks of moving, cleaning, moving, cleaning I was about ready to collapse or go on a murderous rampage. I can only imagine the place you are in. But.. first things first.

To say my blood boiled when I read the little "easy ride" BS puts it mildly. My wife stays home with our 9 month old, and the big kids when they aren't in school, we too have heard the "she has it easy" crap. Let's put it this way, obviously those who say it never had a parent stay home with them, or ever stayed home with a child - let alone home-schooled them. In fact, I could go further, but I won't. I work in a job that pulls me 80 different directions at once, but I think in comparison to my wife I have it easy. I adore her, and what she does for our children, and how she makes it look so easy. Just shut the **** up on that one, and shove your haterade up your hipster a**. To those who stay at home with your child, you have in my mind - and the mind of many others - the most honorable "job" that has ever existed.

(yeah, that comment upset me. REALLY.)

Then there is the combination of losing your job AND moving. I know I'm constantly fearful for mine at the moment - the industry I'm in is very much a slave to the recession - and I don't think I could even find something nice to say if it went the other way. If there is anything that the community of SUPPORT on this blog can do, let us know. I really feel for you. Big time.

So in summary, Scott, I feel ya. Being a Dad, being a guy who is held up to some ridiculous standard myself, I feel ya.

Hang with it. I'd tell ya to move here, but it's full of rednecks and brutally cold for 5 months of the year, brutally hot for the other 5, and somewhat reasonable for the other 2.

Dear Scott and Amy,

I have read this blog for years, quietly lurking in the shadows. I guess I feel now is my time to speak out a bit, for something I believe in, as Scott is teaching Chloe to do so well.

I grew up in conventional suburbia and through this blog I've learned so much about living differently and thinking differently. My husband already had these ideas inside him, but Scott helped me to see it all in use, living and breathing and believing daily, that this life isn't about keeping up with the Joneses and shucking convention to live life in a way more congruent with keeping this Earth and our families, healthy and happy. (hello, long ass run on sentence)

Amy - you're an amazing woman with a crazy amount of strength and love. I am so inspired by you. I do not know either of you but your ideals resonate.

I have made changes in my life and my family's life that were fueled by your convictions. I have found strength in your journey, which led me to live better. And I'm still changing and evolving each day.

I truly hope that you regain your center, that those who have stolen your joy reflect and repent and finally, that you find doors beginning to open again.

Keep the faith.

All the best to you both,

Jackie

Hi Amy,
As a fellow wife-of-a-blogger, I get it, and I'm sorry. It's a shame that so many folks out there forget that there are REAL people with REAL feelings behind these blogs. It seems as if Scott can take it, but I hear the pain in your writing and I am truly sorry for you both. I hope things get better quickly, we're rooting for you!

Bon Courage, you guys. And what at least half a dozen other people said: Yeah, I know you're tired and stuff, but wave. Or ring your bell. Maybe answer an invite, even if it's to politely decline, once in awhile. Let those of us who extend the hand know you're still there, plugging away like we are. And hang in there. I just went and looked for my shadow this morning and it was MIA, meaning spring cannot be far behind. (At least it better not be.)

tl;dr

Still, I don't think I've ever sympathized with Scott as much as I did when I pictured him as Little Large Fella On The Prairie. That shit is precious, Amy.

Chin up.

So... is it "do over" kind of take over or "I'm in charge now!" kind of take over?

Whichever, keep perspective. This too shall pass...

Scott, Amy & Chloe,

I'm a lurker too, but I keep coming back so I think you're doing something right. I don't always agree with you, but I keep coming back because it's good stuff and a good perspective to consider.

Amy - you're a lovely writer - I love your loyalty to you man. So please - keep writing, but don't ban Scott forever. :)

Everyone's a critic. And when I was in the newspaper business, my mentor would have told me that all the criticism were just "reverse attaboys."

Keep writing. Keep riding. Keep us posted. One of you or both of you. Otherwise, I will fall asleep at work.

-SK

PS - It's freakin' cold in Minnesota. Just damn freakin' cold.

Very eloquently written Amy. As a Portlander who has not lost faith, I would be interested in what your perspective and role is in dealing with Scott's transitioning goals. It appears Scott has reached (or is at least close to) his target weight. Do you think healthy weight maintenance will be more of a struggle because it is a 'fuzzier' target? How does one report inspirational progress on weight maintenance? Is that paradigm transition difficult for Scott? Do you feel your lives are less focused, or the blog less meaningful, now that such a significant goal has been met? What new goals are you considering? Or should we all just go back into our holes for six more weeks of winter?

Most new residents of a city don't ingratiate themselves with the locals by shit-talking everything that doesn't conform to your pre-conceived notions of your new home.

A frame builder charges you for a headset install? Is it like he like, making his living working on bikes or something?

Broke? Best not to blog about your haul of local organic groceries and SIX BOTTLES OF WINE. I like wine as much as anyone, but have cut back to a bottle a week, THAT's ALL I CAN AFFORD.

Bummed by the weather in Minneapolis, why did you move to one of the grayest, wettest cities in the country.

If nothing else, don't show up and expect to be greeted as some authority in a (bike) community that you know nothing about. Sure there are friendly people here, but there's also hard-working people who happen to ride bikes. But they also aren't here to help your free ride (or sorry, follow your passion or true calling or whatever).

STFU.

Hey uzideth, you just sad that your blogs aren't getting enough love?

http://www.blogger.com/profile/17727179613380197538

Lil Wayne, Oasis, and Aluminum frames for racing? Really?

Jesus dude, until you get that shit fixed, you're the one who ought to STFU.

Speaking of free rides, you still livin' at your folks place uzideth, or did I misread one of your blogs?

This winter feels as if it were 9 months long already and I think I saw my shadow today...

I also need to get Scott some tunes that have turned me on to Jazz -- I haven't forgotten. We miss you guys and I still put mustard on my hummus wraps.

The dude has an opinion, if you don't like it, don't read it; the power is yours. No need to post thoroughly offensive and hurtful comments. I don't get what's so hard about that.

Mrs LFOAB, nice post. Hang in there folks.

Scott,

I've been a reader for a long time, way before the weight loss started in earnest, before the FBQ, etc. Yeah, you can be a bit off-putting sometimes, but I don't log on to read the average or mundane. I expect you to make me think and tell me how things really are. Don't change a thing. Cheers Todd in Columbia, MO

yam- right on the money. Nobody makes me read Scott's blog.

Scott, Amy and Chloe-

Uff da! from the Twin Cities. Hang in there. You're in one of life's rough patches with the huevos to be doing it publicly through the blog. It got better back East once the change was made and the cycling started, even though it was hard, right? It got better in Minneapolis even though there were some "WTF" moments, right? It'll get better for you in Portland, too.

Keep the faith, play some drums, charge the batteries. Listen to "Beauty Is A Rare Thing." Take some time to find what the Danes call "hygge." Come out when you're ready.

It's your life you're living, not anybody else's.

Cheers!

Scott: I have at times found you pleasant, interesting, smart, insightful, worthy of respect, etc, and at other times thought you were toxic and I didn't want anything to do with you or your blog. I still don't have a definitive answer on that question, but I sincerely wish you the best and hope that you find some inner (and outer) peace.

I'd also like to offer my own experience (which may or may not be worth shit) that these blog controversies tend to have a short shelf life. If you can manage to go two weeks without offending Portland again (granted, a tall order), I predict that the natives will forget that they were mad at you, and you will be able to go on about the slow and painstaking business of fitting yourself in to your new community. Of course, maybe you'd prefer to make a big splash rather than quietly fit yourself in, but that's your call. Sinclair Lewis covered this.

Keep your chins up, guys.

I'm another lurker who's been reading the blog since way back when. There were times when I didn't "get it", but what's there is real and makes me think about a lot of things.

I really admire the courage it takes to walk the walk and am in awe of the commitments your family has made.

Don't let the bastards grind you down!

(Just one thing, Scott: don't confuse blogging with "fame")

I enjoy reading your blog, regardless of who is authoring the posts. I've enjoyed reading the post today from Amy. I don't always agree with what you say, but hey, different opinions are a good thing.

My god Cutshall clan, I get a few weeks behind on my LFoaB reading and everything goes to hell! I had a feeling that moving to PDX was going to entail some rough times for you guys, but all this vitriol & vituperation being directed at you is so uncalled for! I haven't always agreed with you Scott, but I've often felt it's because I haven't yet met you in person and learned the nuances of your humor and communication style. I think certain things get lost in the written medium and I think that may be some of the culprit here.

You're not the first person to be turned off by a certain framebuilder, as others I've know who either A) worked for him or B)were potential clients have been repulsed by an apparent growth of arrogance in his demeanor. I have no personal experience, so I just relay what I hear. Your headset installation experience bothered you and I appreciate that, but I do understand the other side of the coin too (people are often very reluctant to rent out their tools, especially the spendy ones like headset presses.)

All that aside, for people to throw the digital gauntlet down without knowing all the nuances of the situation is pretty chickensh*t, but exactly what I expect in the digital format: folks will often say things digitally that they would never say in person; there are immediate tangible consequences. The unkind remarks while you were riding have not been said when the person was willing to stand and accept a retort from you (or your fist/bike pump/bike lock), so I would dismiss it as chickensh*t "bait and run" throwaway commentary. Anyone not willing to stand up in your face and say it doesn't deserve your ire. That said, I fully appreciate your frustration with the "PDX Love". As if there wasn't enough negativity going around: now there are cycling blog pundits? Lovely. You should have a chat with Jonathan Maus of bikeportland... his blog gets a plethora of vitriol, and he seems to have somehow managed to not let it poison him.

Beavertron... you are not the first to cast dispersions that way and certainly not the last. Friends I know from PDX have often cast dispersions at the PDX burbs and none of them were riders! Your commentary on the lack of riding facilities is another indication that Oregon, despite the high bar set by PDX still has a long ways to go in become a more bicycle friendly state.

I'm glad that you guys have found a place to nest: I dearly hope that Amy can find work. I have a very close friend who works in PDX in the medical field: drop me a twitter and I'll see if I can help if things get darker on the job front.

As it's often said "it's darkest just before the dawn".. I hope that is true for you guys.

When/if you make it down to the Bay Area for your Rivendell/Swobo/Xtracycle/John Francis trip, I would be honored to host you and your lovely daughter and show you around. If John Francis still lives in Inverness he should be easy to find: it's a VERY small town and I still know several folks who live out there (including my current English professor, who also happens to be an old friend).

Keep riding always.. I'm finally getting back there myself. It's been some dark times for me too with my accident and the associated depression.. I feel your pain Cutshall clan. Much love from the burby town of Novato, CA.

So Amy...
'was hoping you would post some time. I imagine having the formerly large fella around has had an impact on your own lifestyle - diet, riding, etc... Since you're in charge of the keyboard, tell us a little about your journey.

Amy,

I would like to see some pictures of your bike or updated pictures of your whole stable. Keep on riding Scott.

Wow. Just got caught up reading the last couple of week’s posts. A few observations:

1. I totally agree with you, Amy, this is Scott’s blog and no matter what he (and you, for that matter) is/are entitled to his/your opinion.

2. To all the naysayers, whether they’re from Portland, LA, MN or anywhere else on the left coast or from the upper MW: sorry bro’s but all your doing is confirming their observations about the climate out there and your "wonderful" "friendly" ways.

3. To all the naysayers again: bring that Holier-Than-Though sh*t down here to my part of the world. Here we respect people’s opinions. Here we care what the other person says even if it’s not the way we believe. Here you candy asses wouldn’t last a week until someone put you in your place and told you how the cow ate the cabbage.

4. As I remember it this started as a story about a man’s journey back to life from the edge. I’ve been on a similar journey and can tell you from experience that it changes the way you look at life and what matters in life. What you used to believe mattered doesn’t and what never mattered before is worth everything now. If you Naysayers can’t see that Scott's point of view is coming from a different place than yours (a truer place) you need to find somewhere else to go because this place is just a little above your heads.

5. Amy: you said you moved to PDX partly because you thought it was lberal. Well, you were right. Welcome to liberal narrow mindedness, bigotry and hatred for anything that doesn’t exactly agree with their world view.

6. Amy and Scott: if you ever have a desire to try a warmer, more middle-of-the-road place that will accept you for who you are let me know…there’s a place and opportunities a-plenty here for you, Amy, and we need more tough guys like you, Scott, and more wonderful young ladies like Chloe.

7. Lastly, it isn’t impossible to write a reply with no misspellings if you set your mind to it.

We are holding you all three up during this challenging time.

Amy and Scott
I have read this blog off and on for a few years and crossed Scott's path many times in Minneapolis. Initially, I admired him greatly for what he had accomplished -- no small feat. But the celebrity went to his head and he displayed a complete lack of humility and class.

I have been in shops where he's arrived and expected special treatment or discounts because of who he thought he had become. Some shops fell for it, some did not. The stories about Oprah appearances, book deals and persecution by motorists solely because of his notoriety really didn't help his case.

Apparently, the move west didn't dull his edge. Expecting a business to do something for free is not the way to ingratiate yourself into a community. Friends of mine in Portland who have crossed his path have come away completely turned off by his arrogance.

So, lighten up. You can either be an inspiration to others and admired for your accomplishments or seen as just another fat guy who lost weight. Show some humility and some class, and people will come to accept you and respect you for what you've accomplished.

After 3 years of hearing my best friend/boyfriend tell me about this blog (and wondering what the heck was so fascinating)I finally logged on after our conversation this morning. He had mentioned that he jumped on and got reaquainted with you and your family's lives and that you had moved to Portland. This is a place that we have been wondering about as a new place to build our life as we are tired of the weather and need a change (east coasters as well). He also mentioned Amy's blog and that she wrote eloquently and fully supported her man (despite the faults).

You all deserve a lot of credit for having the courage to take on so many challenges and to put them out there for all to see. The glimpse I got into your lives and the way that you eloquently phrased everything really impressed me as well (I don't usually read blogs much less comment). Thanks for standing up for the man you are married to and reminding everyone that we are all subject to the CRAP that happens in our lives and it can and WILL leak out in very inconvenient ways. The knowledge that people are not always what would like them to be should make us aware that we all deserve a little understanding.

All the best to you all and I hope this "cold spell" doesn't last long!!!!

The World Wide Blogs comprises such a strange community. We know each other so well, and yet we don't know each other at all. Sometimes the line between real and imagined is hard to draw. I still read Scott's posts often, even though I don't comment much anymore. I appreciate his honesty, in almost all cases. This blog feels real.

Good luck in your endeavours. There are a lot of challenges right now, but you are likely to feel stronger and more balanced once you come out of them. I wish you the best.

I've wandered off from this blog when you all moved from the Twin Cities, and so I didn't see what precipitated this post.

I will say this: my husband is a stay-at-home dad and he gets judgments all the time that no one would have uttered had I, the woman, been the one staying at home. I know how hard he works -- I see it in my own husband.

I have no idea what else has been going on in the comments, or how "harsh" he was in his posts (I'm from New York living in Minnesota and people think I'm harsh when I just say hello). I do know that folks do not value women's work, especially when men are doing it.

But I do. And I value his honesty in this blog, too.

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