Anatomy of a Photo: The Four Pillars of Awesome

Anatomy of a Photo: The Four Pillars of Awesome

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Whenever I send out an Out of Office reminder at work, I take special care to indicate where I’ll be, which is always Awesomeville.  It amazes me how few questions this raises, but I chalk it up to it being a foregone conclusion. Imagine my surprise, then, when upon my return from Maui someone asked me where, precisely, Awesomeville was. I patiently explained that Awesomeville is anywhere within a three-meter radius of me. “As a matter of fact, you’re in Awesomeville right now.” The blank stare was a refreshing change from the puzzled bewilderment I normally encounter when I talk about my personal life at work.

Maui was incredible, with the notable exception of the deathmarch up Haleakala. In fact, it was so incredible that we experienced something I had only ever theorized was possible: The Awesomeness Singularity. This is a condition where there is so much Awesome in one location that the Awesome reaches critical mass to where no Suck at all can enter.

The photo above was taken moments before the first singularity occurred, at an incredible lookout along the West Maui Loop. It’s a good thing that no Suck could enter our space, since we had just struggled up a brutally steep incline which Gianni and his VMH danced up and had neglected to warn us about, and my right cleat was broken and fastidiously violating the Principle of Silence.

Because normally, that’s the kind of thing that would piss my shit off.

// Anatomy of a Photo

  1. Awesome. Or, as David Tua (NZ heavyweight boxer) once reportedly said on Wheel of Fortune when explaining the vowel he wanted to buy, “O for Awesome”.

  2. G’phant:
    Awesome. Or, as David Tua (NZ heavyweight boxer) once reportedly said on Wheel of Fortune when explaining the vowel he wanted to buy, “O for Awesome”.

    bwilliantly owesome cuz

    @frank
    awesomeville – love it. Within a three-meter radius of yourself – even better.

    Do you radiate the awesomeness to such an extent that people lose all control of their bodily functions in awe; or is it more that it can emanate from you in such a way that those within the three-meter awesome sphere experience a sense of well being nay glowing after experience that they cherish and recall the moment forever? A bit like communing with Merckx?

  3. That Maui Trip just gets better and better.
    No matter how you feel about the volcano it gave us winter bound fools a real shot of awesomeness. I would think you are almost at that point where the pain memories are fading and you are saying to yourself “mmn it wasn’t that bad maybe I should book in for next year and break 4:00 hrs.”

    @All Having spent only 12 hours in “Awesomeville” I would like to report to all those who have not been there yet that there is only one word able to come close to describing the experience – AWESOME!

  4. Awesomeville must be kinda like “Gregtopia”. My riding buddy Greg* (*See page 76 of the Nov/Dec ’09 issue of Road Bike Action – That’s Greg [on the left] dragging my fat ass up a 35km climb) says that when the road is perfectly smooth and you’re cruising along above 40kph with a nice little tailwind you’re in Gregtopia.

    I asked him once when we were both having a near-death experience at the 225km mark with the temperature close to 40c and we were out of water, and had a horrendous headwind on a nastily chip sealed road if we were in “Gregatory”? He just gave me an ashen little smile and replied “nice”.

  5. We have a friend here in Boulder named Bill. Bill goes on big rides out of Boulder, both mountain and road, on which he proceeds to lose himself even though he has ridden the trails/roads before and carries a map and a gps. When this happens, we say that Bill is in Billville. Normally, riding home in the dark or calling a buddy for a ride because you’re still lost after 5 hours of riding in the mountains is a bad thing, but I think he does it on purpose. He always has this shit-eating grin on his face when he talks about Billville that makes you wish so badly that you had been on the ride. I have only seen Billville from a distance on a couple of rides with him, but I never say no to riding with Bill just in case I get a chance to visit Billville. It sounds like the greatest place to ride. Thanks for the blog work to everyone who contributes, I have been thoroughly enjoying every post.

  6. @Lucky
    Maybe “Billville” should go in the Lexicon–when you’ve gone so deep into the pleasure of riding that you forget where you are or where you’re going.

  7. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    I think you nailed it. It does seem as though he has been given a unique gift, and I honestly believe that he doesn’t ever take it for granted. In Billville, every ride is the best ride ever.

  8. The west maui loop is awesome ++. The high point of my every-other-year trip to Maui. That steep hill is called THE WALL by the wags at the bike shop in Lahina where I rented my ride.

  9. @il ciclista medio

    Do you radiate the awesomeness to such an extent that people lose all control of their bodily functions in awe; or is it more that it can emanate from you in such a way that those within the three-meter awesome sphere experience a sense of well being nay glowing after experience that they cherish and recall the moment forever? A bit like communing with Merckx?

    It doesn’t really work that way. People who enter the sphere just get more awesome. In fact, it’s not limited to just people. Anything within 3m is more Awesome. A software developer might say it’s Awesome++.

    I arrived at the office this morning to a piece of paper taped over my name plate on the wall outside my office that said, “Mr. Awesome.”

    True story.

  10. @Jeff in PetroMetro, @Lucky

    In Billville, every ride is the best ride ever.

    I think that’s what @G’phant calls “Velomitopia” in Obey the Rules.

  11. @Co-mo

    The west maui loop is awesome ++. The high point of my every-other-year trip to Maui. That steep hill is called THE WALL by the wags at the bike shop in Lahina where I rented my ride.

    The West Maui loop is awesome. Especially since it ends at a Brewery, which Gianni ensured it would. That man knows how to end a bike ride. In a word, “genius”.

  12. I can’t see the word Awesome written that many times without thinking of this:

    Delenda est Alberto

  13. Let’s try this again:

  14. @sgt
    This post is so Awesome, it showed up in my feed reader at least 12 hours before it went live.

  15. The Awesomeness Singularity is a fantastic definition!

  16. When did this post appear?

    Well, I have some video to add to this post. I had my jersey pocket-sized Flip video camera with me when we took Frank and Michelle on an abbreviated West Maui ride. It became abbreviated when Michelle let me know, in no uncertain terms that we had reached the turn around point. “F’ing Gianni!”

    I wanted to show as much as possible to our Seattle friends. Michelle had prepared for this visit by not riding her bike for four months. Hilarity ensued.

    Here is a bit of unedited video showing a bit of the magic that is West Maui. Shaky camera work, unexplained references, general awesomeness.
    West maui view on Youtube

  17. frank:
    I arrived at the office this morning to a piece of paper taped over my name plate on the wall outside my office that said, “Mr. Awesome.”
    True story.

    Which means the janitorial staff didn’t show and nobody took down your post-it note?

    Big props for Awesome++, though. That was awesome.

  18. frank:

    It doesn’t really work that way. People who enter the sphere just get more awesome. In fact, it’s not limited to just people. Anything within 3m is more Awesome. A software developer might say it’s Awesome++.
    I arrived at the office this morning to a piece of paper taped over my name plate on the wall outside my office that said, “Mr. Awesome.”
    True story.

    Even more awesome than I had thought.

  19. The Awesomeville/Awesoneness explanation was, uh….awesome. I actually laughed out loud (the kids apparently call this LOL), which is rare from me reading something.

    “Three meter radius” – funny stuff. LOL.

  20. My VMH has long wondered what I’m going on about regarding The Velominati and why I’m on the site so often. She happened to be next to me as I read the first few sentences of this post and when she heard me laughing leaned over to see what was going on. She too found Frank’s intro amusing.

    I think she gets it a bit more know. Welcome to Awesomeville, Caroline!

  21. And awkward interactions with co-workers are my worst nightmare. Thankfully I’ve only worked in an office for around twenty months, but I was never able to have just a normal, regular conversation with most of the people I worked with. Ugh, they might as well have been aliens. The day they hired someone I could talk to was incredible. It made going into the office seem drastically less horrifying. I feel like I’m interested in a pretty wide range of things so it always baffles me that I could have absolutely nothing to say to some people. Weirdos.

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