Sunday, December 13, 2009

248,298 and counting!

will we reach 250,000 today? perhaps 'round midnight. thanks to all the fans of scrubs and sarah chalke, around the world. i had NO idea she was that popular. seriously popular.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"liege, 1980" -- DON'T SAY IT ! !

[click to enlarge, but read it to yourself, not aloud.]
regular readers will be familiar with my regular rants about how to many neophites overuse the word <<epic>> to include such non-descript events as one's morning poop or a regular bicycle training ride. although either might exceed one's nominal expectations of the day, neither should approach the limits of your capacities or the peripheries of your mental capabilities. now, it seems, the good people at pez have picked up my rant, and have given it an appropriate illustration that proves my point. so just because it snowed the other day, it snows EVERY fucking winter, doesn't it? and just because you ride your bike outside in the snow, STFU about the so-called "epic" nature of it, because if YOU say it's epic, it ain't.
and i con't care if you're lance fucking armstrong, it STILL ain't epic just because you say it is.
now, go out and ride your bicycle.
it's just another day . . .
only a little colder.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

bikini cross, 2009!

[click on photo to enlarge]
* * * * *
if i had a nickel for everytime i said "you just GOTTA go to jingle cross," i'd be a fairly wealthy man.
but if i had a dime for every time someone said to me, "you know, you were RIGHT about what you said about going to jingle cross,"
i could afford to buy these women
"kim west radio cycling show"
racing bikinis!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

pearl

pearl dancing at burning man. she danced with friends every sunday morning; it was her spiritual thing. she was such a powerful being. things and people flourished because of her.

janna and her burning man bike; it was later painted white and permanently decorated with flowers and such. sadly, i never made it to the festival with her.

i first encountered and became entranced by this smile in junior high school. it never changed. i'm sure gonna miss this one.
. . . . .
life never gets easier, i've learned. the most one can hope for is to not be overwhelmed by what life throws your way. ironically, the very strength that pearl helped others discover within themselves was never fully accessible to pearl when she needed it most. she constantly pushed and tested her limits in her explorations of human despair, to better equip her to help others cope with theirs. it was not necessarily a noble undertaking, in her view. it was just what she did: she gave of herself to others. those who knew her were better as a result of that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

pearl

my friend pearl died monday; i learned of her death yesterday. i am struggling to put into words how i feel about this loss.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ahead of the curve

that's where i've always striven to stay. so with that as my guiding principle, watch this. and take notes. i tell ya, i'm ON to something that's gonna be BIG.

Friday, November 13, 2009

let's make THIS happen in des moines!!

check out this link to an insane ride--entirely within the portland city limits!
or watch THIS video from 2007, which gpickle tells me is BETTER!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

i hate qwest

Chat Transcript
info: Thank you for using Qwest.com. A Qwest Sales and Service Consultant will be with you in just a moment. Your account information is confidential and protected by law. Advise our agent if you prefer that we don't use it to market bundled services. This has no effect on the service or offers we provide for you.

info: Thank you for contacting Qwest. My name is Taylor B. How may I help you today?
kim west: i am unable to log into my account.
Taylor B: I apologize for the inconvenience.
Taylor B: I will be happy to assist you.
kim west: that's ok; not your fault.
Taylor B: What is the billing phone number on your account?
kim west: 515-XXX-XXXX
Taylor B: Thank you.
Taylor B: Just to verify that I am speaking with the responsible party on this account, please provide me with your Qwest Security Code.
kim west: hm?
Taylor B: It is a 12 character code Qwest issued to you.
Taylor B: If you are at the billing number now, I can have an automated call made to you with the security code or I would be happy to mail the security code to your billing address.
kim west: [reading from current bill] 515-XXX-XXXX-ZZZ
RTaylor B: That is your account number. The security code is a separate 12 character code.
kim west: yes...
Taylor B: Are you at that billing number now?
kim west: no; it's my fax line. where can i find it? i just want to pay my bills on line and avoid the most annoying automated voice mail system ever.
Taylor B: Well it should have been mailed to you when your service started. I would be happy to mail the security code to your billing address. In the meantime, if you call the billing department at 800-491-0118, they can take a payment over the phone.
kim west: i started using this number in 1994. i have already made the payment, i just want to get outside and do something else.
Taylor B: Okay. Unfortunately, I cannot access any account information without verifying a security code.
kim west: whatever. click.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

the beauty of delusion: 3' passing laws

jane: "if we just had more laws to protect bicyclists, we could pedal our way right into nirvana."
dan: "jane, you ignorant slut."
ol' dan is right again. read here for today's proof that more laws don't protect bicyclsts; strict enforcement and uniform application do.
that, and an EFFECTIVE public awareness campaign about the policy of strict enforcement.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

"no, really: we're just friends"

that's not completely true -- yet.
today, i became a "fan" of former governor and fellow-radio talk show host sarah palin. on facebook, anyway.
but soon, i hope to become an actual friend.
i think i have a lot to offer, in a friendship kind of way, and i think she is sharp enough to recognize that.
but time is of the essence.
the future of our democracy--our way of life--lies in the balance.
or some sort of shit like that.
wish me luck...
i'm going in!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

nighthawks at the diner

"iggy; you call me iggy."
"look, i'm sorry i'm late, jim. boy, ooo, four-car pile-up. oof. i delivered a baby this morning about nine o'clock, i was saving lives; i was out there on the highway. it was, you know, there's nothing worse than roadside surgery..."

dick cheney was "incompetent war fighter" - general paul eaton, ret.

National Security Network Senior Adviser Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.), who served more than 30 years in the United States Army and from 2003-2004 oversaw the training of the Iraqi military, responded to Dick Cheney's accusations on Afghanistan from last night:
"The record is clear: Dick Cheney and the Bush administration were incompetent war fighters. They ignored Afghanistan for 7 years with a crude approach to counter-insurgency warfare best illustrated by: 1. Deny it. 2. Ignore it. 3. Bomb it. While our intelligence agencies called the region the greatest threat to America, the Bush White House under-resourced our military efforts, shifted attention to Iraq, and failed to bring to justice the masterminds of September 11.
"The only time Cheney and his cabal of foreign policy 'experts' have anything to say is when they feel compelled to protect this failed legacy. While President Obama is tasked with cleaning up the considerable mess they left behind, they continue to defend torture or rewrite a legacy of indifference on Afghanistan. Simply put, Mr. Cheney sees history throughout extremely myopic and partisan eyes. "As one deeply invested in the Armed Forces of this country, I am grateful for the senior military commanders assigned to leading this fight and the men and women fighting on the ground. But I dismiss men like Cheney who inject partisan politics into the profound deliberations our Commander-in-Chief and commanders on the ground are having to develop a cohesive and comprehensive strategy, bringing to bear the economic and diplomatic as well as the military power, for Afghanistan -- something Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld never did.
"No human endeavor can be as profound as sending a nation's youth to war. I am very happy to see serious men and women working hard to get it right."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

poster child


i hate cliches.
i hate it when a bicyclist is killed by a motorist.
i hate it even more when that motorist is not charged and held legally and morally accountable for that death.
i hate it even more when a culpable politician hides behind a cliche to cover the fact that he lacks balls and a spine.
egro, i hate it twice as much when two bicyclists die.
but imagine how i feel when when i read the continuing story about this unbelievable situation in san antonio and the entire state of texas.
here comes my cliche du jour:
fucking politicians

Monday, October 12, 2009

Friends,
Last night my wife asked me if I thought I was a little too hard on Obama in
my letter yesterdaycongratulating him on his Nobel Prize. "No, I don't think so," I replied. I thought it was important to remind him he's now conducting the two wars he's inherited. "Yeah," she said, "but to tell him, 'Now earn it!'? Give the guy a break -- this is a great day for him and for all of us."
I went back and re-read what I had written. And I listened for far too long yesterday to the right wing hate machine who did what they could to crap all over Barack's big day. Did I -- and others on the left -- do the same?
We are weary, weary of war. The trillions that will have gone to these two wars have helped to bankrupt us as a nation -- financially and morally. To think of all the good we could have done with all that money! Two months of the War in Iraq would pay for all the wells that need to be dug in the Third World for drinking water! Obama is moving too slow for most of us -- but he needs to know we are with him and we stand beside him as he attempts to turn eight years of sheer madness around. Who could do that in nine months? Superman? Thor? Mitch McConnell?
Instead of waiting to see what the president is going to do, we all need to be pro-active and push the agenda that we want to see enacted. What keeps us from forming the same local groups we put together to get out the vote last November? C'mon! We're the majority now -- the majority by a significant margin! We call the shots -- and we need to tell this wimpy Congress to get busy and do what we say -- or else.
All I ask of those who voted for Obama is to not pile on him too quickly. Yes, make your voice heard (his phone number is 202-456-1414). But don't abandon the best hope we've had in our lifetime for change. And for God's sake, don't head to bummerville if he says or does something we don't like. Do you ever see Republicans behave that way? I mean, the Right had 20 years of Republican presidents and they still couldn't get prayer in the public schools, or outlaw abortion, or initiate a flat tax or put our Social Security into the stock market. They did a lot of damage, no doubt about that, but on the key issues that the Christian Right fought for, they came up nearly empty handed. No wonder they've been driven crazy lately. They'll never have it as good again as they've had it since Reagan took office.
But -- do you ever see them looking all gloomy and defeated? No! They keep on fighting! Every day. Our side? At the first sign of wavering, we just pack up our toys and go home.
So, at least for this weekend, let us celebrate what people elsewhere are celebrating -- that America now has a sane and smart man in the White House, a man who truly wants a world at peace for his two daughters.
Many, for the past couple days (yes, myself included), have grumbled, "What has he done to earn this prize?" How 'bout this:
The simple fact that he was elected was reason enough for him to be the recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
Because on that day the murderous actions of the Bush/Cheney years were totally and thoroughly rebuked. One man -- a man who opposed the War in Iraq from the beginning -- offered to end the insanity. The world has stood by in utter horror for the past eight years as they watched the descendants of Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson light the fuse of our own self-destruction. We flipped off the nations on this planet by abandoning Kyoto and then proceeded to melt eight more years worth of the polar ice caps. We invaded two nations that didn't attack us, failed to find the real terrorists and, in effect, ignited our own wave of terror. People all over the world wondered if we had gone mad.
And if all that wasn't enough, the outgoing Joker presided over the worst global financial collapse since the Great Depression.
So, yeah, at precisely 11:00pm ET on November 4, 2008, Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. And the 66 million people who voted for him won it, too. By the time he took the stage at midnight ET in the Grant Park Historic Hippie Battlefield in downtown Chicago, billions of people around the globe were already breathing a huge sigh of relief. It was as if, in that instant, one man did bring the promise of peace to the world -- and most were ready to go wherever he wanted to go to achieve that end. Never before had the election of one man made every other nation feel like they had won, too. When you've got billions of people ready, willing and able to join a cause like this, well, a prize in Oslo is the least that you deserve.
One other thought. The Peace Prize historically has been given to those who have worked to throw off the yoke of racial discrimination and segregation (Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu). I think the Nobel committee, in awarding Obama the prize, was also rewarding the fact that something profound had happened in a nation that was founded on racial genocide, built on racist slavery, and held back for a hundred-plus years by vestiges of hateful bigotry (which can still be found on display at teabagger rallies and daily talk radio).
The fact that this one man could cause this seismic historical event to occur -- and to do so with such grace and humility, never succumbing to the bait, but still not backing down (yes, he asked to be sworn in as "Barack Hussein Obama"!) -- is more than reason enough he should be in Oslo to meet the King on December 10. Maybe he could take us along with him. 'Cause I also suspect the Nobel committee was tipping its hat to all of us -- we, the American people, had conquered some of our racism and did the truly unexpected. After seeing searing images of our black fellow citizens left to drown in New Orleans -- and poor whites seeing their own treated no better than the black man they had been raised to hate -- we had all seen enough. It was time for change.
Thank you, Barack Obama, for giving us the opportunity to redeem ourselves. Now for the tasks ahead. We need you to do all that you promised to do. We need it. The world needs it.
My prediction for the future? You become the first *two-time* winner of the Nobel Peace Prize! Yeah!
Fred (that's Norwegian for "Peace"),

Michael Moore

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

first a cyclist, next an innocent old woman! will SOMEONE PLEASE STOP THEM??

[attack suspect]
Woman seriously injured after attack by 5 raccoons
By Audrea Huff
3:59 p.m. EDT, October 4, 2009

Polk County Animal Control is warning Lakeland residents to be on the lookout for raccoons after a 74-year-old woman was mauled by several of the animals Saturday night, the sheriff's office said.Gretchen Witted of Waterford Drive in Lakeland suffered severe injuries after being attacked by five raccoons yesterday.Polk authorities are currently looking for the raccoons. Meanwhile, automated phone calls and alerts have been sent to residents in neighborhoods around where the attack occurred.

[attack suspect--maintain a safe distance]

[a raccoon gang meeting]

[a raccoon gang chieftain]

[ the most dangerous of all known raccoon varieties--the cougar raccoon.]

Thursday, October 01, 2009

tour of mi$$ouri economic impact report--2009

Lt. Governor Kinder Presents 2009 Tour of Missouri Economic Impact Study
Third annual race proves to be most successful
BRANSON, MO - October 1st, 2009 - Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, chairman of the Missouri Tourism Commission and Tour of Missouri, Inc., presented economic impact results from the 2009 Tour of Missouri during a meeting of the Missouri Tourism Commission today in Branson.
"The 2009 Tour of Missouri was met with tremendous support all across our state and I am proud to report that the numbers prove the same," said Lt. Governor Kinder. "Over 4,000 volunteers worked tirelessly to showcase Missouri across the globe as a world-class tourist destination. We were blessed with great weather through the entire week and, even though we visited smaller towns on this year's revised route, spectators from all across the world helped us surpass last year's success to once again make the Tour of Missouri the largest sporting event ever held in our state."
Throughout the week, 500,000 spectators were estimated to have watched the race at one of the 11 host cities or somewhere along the 600 mile route which passed through many communities in Missouri. In 2008, an estimated 434,000 spectators saw the Tour at some time during the seven stages. In 2007, there were nearly 368,000 spectators who watched the race.
The total economic impact by spectators during the seven-day event was $38.1 million, that's up from $29.8 million in 2008 and $26.2 million in 2007.
"This year's race was a huge success thanks to the tremendous efforts of each of our host cities, corporate sponsors, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Transportation and spectators from across the world," Lt. Governor Kinder said. "I am very pleased that for the state's investment of $1.5 million in the Tour of Missouri, we were able to return over $38 million to communities in our state."
During the course of the seven day event, the average out-of-state visitor spent over $220 per day during their visit. In planning their trip, 83% of non-Missourians said the Tour of Missouri was the reason they came to spend time in Missouri. The average out-of-state visitor spent more than four days in the Show-Me State.
The Tour of Missouri also showcases Missouri to a global audience via live coverage on the Internet and on television.
This year, the Tour's official website,
www.tourofmissouri.com, received hits from visitors in 153 countries and territories. An estimated audience of 5.6 million people watched nightly highlight shows on the Versus television network and an estimated 1.4 million people watched highlight shows on Fox Sports Midwest and Fox Sports Kansas City.
Following the 2008 Tour of Missouri, the International Cycling Union, the sanctioning body for professional cycling, raised the ranking of the Tour of Missouri to a prestigious 2.HC ranking, making the event one of the top five races outside of Europe. The increased international appeal helped attract seven pro tour teams who competed just weeks before in the Tour de France.
The 2009 Tour of Missouri economic impact study was conducted by IFM Sports, an international leader in sports marketing and research. IFM is a global company based in Germany with American operations based in St. Louis, MO.
IFM Sports conducted the economic impact study for the 2008 Tour of Missouri. They have also provided similar reports for groups such as: Major League Baseball (MLB), the International Cycling Union (UCI), the International Tennis Federation and the National Basketball Association (NBA), among many other professional sporting organizations.
At today's Missouri Tourism Commission meeting in Branson, Lt. Governor Kinder pledged his support for a 2010 race and urged fellow commissioners to also support bringing the event back for a fourth year.
Contact: Gary McElyea
573-751-1088

Thursday, September 24, 2009

from the orphanage mailbox

I went for a ride this past Saturday with some members of “The Guilty Party”. As we crossed County Home Road and continued north of town we came upon a carcass lying in the middle of the lane we were in. Given the size I thought it might be a pig but drawing closer one could see it was a well kept Weimaraner. The blood from the fatal injuries was red and raw against the pavement, indicating the dog had been hit and left recently. Among the group sadness was felt and expressed. Personally having the good fortune of being owned by dogs I have felt troubled for the past several days by seeing this dog, obviously someone’s pet, left to die alone in the road.

A couple of days prior we had another hit and run in the same area. This time the hit and run involved a cyclist, Joey Richey, an acquaintance who had just completed Ironman Canada. As he was riding he was struck from behind and the driver of the vehicle left him in the ditch. Fortunately passer-bys helped him and after receiving treatment for a broken shoulder and lacerations he will soon be shopping for a new helmet, repairing his bike and able to train and race again.

I find this callous attitude towards living beings appalling. Thoughts from great thinkers continue to circulate in my mind, the first from Mahatama Gandhi, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” and the second from Thomas Edison, “Until we stop harming all living beings, we are still savages”.

Like Joey, I offer the person striking and leaving him the benefit of doubt; in that perhaps this individual was somehow unaware they struck another living being with their vehicle. While I don’t drive as much as I used to I think of the sound a butterfly makes as it hits the windshield of a car and how the sound snaps me back to awareness.

And I muse…how can an individual be so ‘asleep at the wheel’, detached from their awareness that the act of hitting a dog whose weight approached 90 pounds or striking a cyclist hard enough to split their helmet and send them to the hospital for several days does not snap one back to awareness, compassion and most importantly, right action?

In his address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon University David Foster Wallace touches on this detachment and of the members of our society who choose to operate on a default setting, detached from awareness, not only at the expense of themselves but at the expense of others as well.

From personal experience I realize we far too often speed along in our lives, unknowingly frustrated and frightened by the choices we have made, detached from and unaware of everything outside of, as Foster Wallace puts it, “our tiny skull sized kingdoms”. Driving, struggling with the cell phone, ketchup is spilled onto Dockers from another tasteless ‘eat and run’ McMeal as the race is on to make another meeting or commitment and then…a sound snaps one awake, returning one to awareness, sometimes sadly at the expense of another living being.

In closing I offer the quote from Roman philosopher Seneca, “Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness”. There are times I find this practice is difficult but I have come to find when the practice of genuine and authentic kindness is shown first to ourselves we are released from the chains of frustration and fear binding and harming us, allowing the cultivation of wakefulness and awareness leading to opportun ities to share kindness and compassion with other living, sentient beings.

The Pitbull

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

from my "mysterious ways" file

to quote my televangelist brothers and sisters, i truly AM blessed. so much so that i will share MY good fortune with you:

Dearest in Christ,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am Mrs Sarah Hamson. I am married to Mr. Richard Hamson who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for many years before he died in the year 2004.We were married without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of ($2.600.000.00) Two million six hundred thousand dollar in a Bank here in Ivory Coast . Presently this money is still in the bank. Recently my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to my cancer problem.

The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a charity organization that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want an organization that will use this fund for orphanages, school and church, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained, Isaiah 56:7 for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." The Bible made us to understand that "Blessed is the hand that giveth" I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers.

I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that "the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace". I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always... I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you more information’s on how to go about the transfer of the fund into your account.

I await your soonest response with your full information, example. Your full name....................... Address....................................... Age...........................................

I will use the above information to obtain an authorization letter that will legally and officially approve you as the new beneficiary of this fund from the Federal Ministry of Justice Cote d'Ivoire . I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply with the above information.
Remain blessed in the Lord
Take care, Yours Sister in Christ
Mrs Sarah Hamson.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

for my tea-bagging friends!

The Teabagger Socialist-Free Purity Pledge
by
Laura Clawson

Daily Kos readers are awesome and send awesome emails:
I, ________________________, do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall strictly adhere to the following:
I will complain about the destruction of 1st Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights.
I will complain about the destruction of my 2nd Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights by legally but brazenly brandishing unconcealed firearms in public.
I will foreswear the time-honored principles of fairness, decency, and respect by screaming unintelligible platitudes regarding tyranny, Nazi-ism, and socialism at public town halls. Also.
I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:
-Social Security
-Medicare/Medicaid
-State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
-Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
-US Postal Service
-Roads and Highways
-Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
-The US Railway System
-Public Subways and Metro Systems
-Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
-Rest Areas on Highways
-Sidewalks
-All Government-Funded Local/State Projects (e.g., see
Iowa 2009 federal senate appropriations)
-Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)
-Public and State Universities and Colleges
-Public Primary and Secondary Schools
-Sesame Street
-Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
-Public Museums
-Libraries
-Public Parks and Beaches
-State and National Parks
-Public Zoos
-Unemployment Insurance
-Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
-Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, State or Federal Government (pretty much all of them)
-Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)
-Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)
-Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking
-Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or That

-The Grand Canyon
-The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
-The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery
-All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or in Washington, DC
I will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their government salary and government-provided healthcare.
I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist military of the United States of America.
I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as GE, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of others that are paid by our socialist government to produce goods for our socialist army.
I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their socialist employees.
Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social Security checks.
Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private health insurance until I die.
SWORN ON A BIBLE AND SIGNED THIS DAY OF __________ IN THE YEAR ___.
_____________ _________________________
Signed Printed Name/Town and State

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

another friend's life comes to an end

i received an email from a high school classmate late last night; the subject line read simply "craig settle."
i immediately knew the nature and purpose of the email. the only uncertainty was the "how" of craig's death; the inevitability of it was not in question, however.
craig and i were good buds in high school, although we really came about it in backwards kind of way. he was an outstanding athlete; i was a little smart ass who went out for sports because i wanted to hang out with my friends, and that's where they were after school, evenings, and many weekends. they were jocks; i usually handed out towels.
we bonded during junior high football and track, despite the fact that he played basketball and i wrestled. we clicked when it came to music and other "cultural activities" of the day [late 60s and early 70s; you figure it out]. i taught craig how to tie dye for example, and the first thing he did that turned out well was his football practice jersey.
i also taught him how to grow his hair long and get kicked out of school as a result.
i mentored him in civil disobedience. we were both early and young fathers, and had that in common, too. craig had a very cool early camero, a VERY hot street machine. i enjoyed it vicariously. when he joined the "sons of silence motorcycle gang," i had no such similar affiliation, thankfully. as a "son," he became "wish-bone" to his peers. i was always "kim" and he remained "craig" to me. his fellow members looked aghast, but he never once commented on it to me. we retained a quiet mutual respect for one another.
i can only imagine that his death was a complication of some unpleasant, drug-related cause. that matters not to me. that others may strongly disapprove of his lifestyle and his activities also matters not to me.
what matters to me is that a man--a friend--who meant much to me during my early, formative years has died, and that i no longer have the opportunity of running into him at completely unexpected times, as we often did.
i'll miss those chances to catch up.
the rest of the shit? it doesn't matter to me.
.....
Craig Richard “Wishbone” Settle, 56, of Nevada, died Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames. Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at Memorial Lutheran Church, 701 11th St., in Nevada, with Pastor David R. Burling officiating. Burial will follow in Nevada Municipal Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at Chet Ryan Mortuary, 708 Fifth St., in Nevada. Craig was born June 5, 1953, in Nevada, to Richard W. and Laura I. (Michaelson) Settle. He was a 1971 graduate of Nevada High School. He was employed with Mid-States Millwright Builders. On Oct. 31, 2003, he married Virginia “Ginny” Eyanson in Ames. He is survived by his wife, Ginny, of Nevada; one son, Chad (Amy) Settle, of Ames; his father and stepmother, Dick and Cindy Settle, of Nevada; one grandson, Devin Settle; two brothers, Mark (Judi) Settle, of Olathe, Kan., and Steve (Kelly) Settle, of Ankeny; one sister, Tracy Lewis, of Washington Township, Mich.; two stepchildren, Vicki Schadt, of Ames, and Chuck Schadt, of Nevada; mother-in-law, Karen Holder, and father-in law, Glen (Gloria) Eyanson, all of Nevada; three step-grandchildren, Haley Halladay, Hallee Schadt and Heavann Schadt; three stepbrothers and sisters, Nico, Vanessa, Boyd and their spouses; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Laura Settle on April 17, 2001. A memorial fund has been established.

the uselessness of the iowa bike coalition

mark wyatt, shown here in a rare moment when he is NOT riding his bicycle in a bike lane somewhere in iowa, advocating LOUDLY on behalf of all bicyclists, or at least on behalf of motorists who encounter bicyclists.
we CAN be so annoying sometimes, can't we mark. i guess we ought to just shut up and let YOU do job 1: fund-raising.
paging mark wyatt! there's a crisis here on the iowa ROADWAYS!!! and a 3' law would NOT have saved mark grgurich.
BUT STRICT ENFORCEMENT WOULD ACT AS A DETERRENT.
why don't you try to do something that WILL help bicyclists?
. . . .
like the requirement that "ALL motorists in iowa, upon reaching their 70 birthday, SHALL be tested for both vision AND driving skills ANNUALLY before obtaining or renewing their driver's license."
.....
any comments?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

REPORT THIS TRUCK TO WARREN COUNTY SHERIFF

click to enlarge photo
this may be the truck that struck and killed mark grgurich last sunday near cumming on county road G-14.

tour of missouri - FREE STUFF & INTERVIEW IDEAS

i'm heading to missouri this weekend for the duration for my radio show. i want some input from you, my listeners.
who do YOU want to hear from?
at the top of my list, of course, are jason mccartney and tom zirbel. but who else? are there riders from the mid-west or some other part of the country who deserve to get some air time? are there somereally cool stories out there that you want to know more about?
contact me with story ideas at
eeastonwest@aol.com or
kimwest@kxno.com or
515.669.8318

by the way, have you registered to win some really sweet prizes? the tour of missouri has, once again, has given us all sorts of great stuff, and all you have to do is REGISTER.
here's what you might win:
--cannondale quick 6 bicycle
[$500 value, a quick conversion to a nice cyclo cross bike]
--yakima double down 4 rear hitch bicycle race [$350 value]
--mavic road shoes and pedals [$300 value]
--bissell "healthy home" vacuum [$250 value]
--tour of missouri replica leaders jersey [$100 value--but i'll try to get it autographed!]

here's how you enter:
1--go to my "personality pages" at my radio website:
http://kxno.com/pages/kimwest.html
2--click on the "tour of missouri" link
3--enter your email address
and then sit back, enjoy the tour of missouri [i'm going to have LIVE daily updates on one of the clear channel FM stations--can you believe they haven't told me which one yet?], and watch for some amzing in-depth interviews. hopefully, the ones you want!
so email or call me, and if you're at the races, get in touch with me, and buy me a drink!

Monday, August 24, 2009

steve schurtz, in the case i call "it's knot my line"

i just received a quick note from pal and race promoter tim putnam about another long-time buddy from my days in mason city, steve schurtz.
tim says:
"Steve had a freak accident this past Sat night. He was getting off his sailboat and the safety line caught between his sandal and foot. As he was stretched out getting on the dock the boat moved causing Steve to lose his balance, twisting his leg and resulting in a break of his lower tibia and fibia, a couple of inches above his ankle. He is scheduled for surgery this Friday.
He is in room 578 at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa and and may be dismissed tomorrow until his surgery on Friday.
Steve is in good spirits now and will have a long road to recovery before he will be able to complete in another Triathlon.
Please wish Steve well.
mail best wishes to:
steve schurtz
318 Meadow Lane
Mason City, IA 50401

Saturday, August 22, 2009

from the mailbag: ULTRA light bottle cages

a long-time reader writes, to share some of the latest, state-of-the-art discussions from his area's techno-weenie e-list. today's topic [or "thread" in today's youthful parlance]: light-weight water bottle cages.
friday, august 21, 2009, 6:22:55 pm: "Does anyone have carbon bottle cages they'd like to sell me?" -Ryan Serbel
friday, august 21, 2009, 17:11:31 "I don't have any because I am not a big fan of them since they don't seem to last, especially with full bottles on rough roads. I use the tracx cages the hold the bottles securely even on rough roads." -andreas
saturday, august 22, 2009, 8:00 am "I second that thought - King Ti bottle cages are the only way to go - totally secure and lightweight. I've seen a few bottles bounce out of carbon cages in races this year." -Terry
august 22, 2009 " The most secure carbon cage I have seen and used are the arundle carbon cages. They are good enough for mtb. I do use the ALuminium Gt40 cages from Cannondale on my race bike. They are light, look good, adjustable (flex them in for a tighter fit), and 10 dollars. The "it's all about performance video" does not give answer to the water bottle cage issue directly. But is does talk about other carbon parts. And it is all about 'performance'. -Jeff
august 22, 2009, 10:13:58 "It is my understanding that Walmart makes some pretty nice carpet-fiber cages. i think you guys would like them. they are found right between the training bras and the depends. and then there is always the impromptu bottle strapping method. [see below]

or for the super domestique... [see below] note that even the security device on the handle did not deter these performance driven boys. this is also a good option if you are short on cashola.

keep those cards and letters coming, folks!

Friday, August 21, 2009

a STATE FAIR marathon tonight!!

i couldn't make it to the state fair tonight, so i'm doing the next best thing: it's a "state fair" movie marathon right here at the orphanage. that's right, i was digging through the vast orphanage movie archives [looking for the joe e. brown cycling classic, "6 day racer"--found it, too, right next to the frank zappa cinematic marvel, 200 motels], when i realized that right there in the middle of my "iowa heritage" wing was the makings of a great evening of adult entertainment--iowa style! beginning with the original version of the phil stong story starring will rogers and janet gaynor, i'll throw back as many "beers on a stick" as i can until i have to get up and switch reels to the 1945 version, which featured dana andrews and jeanne crain in a much darker version of the story of life and love on the midway. then, to cap the evening, i'll screen the hilarious 1962 re-re-make starring two of my favorite crooners and matinee idols, pat boone and bobby darrin. this version REALLY put a new spin on the old story line.
if i haven't run out of popcorn by the conclusion of this third film--a real laugh fest, believe me--i'll watch "6 day racer"--which showcases joe e. brown's amazing fixed gear riding prowess. he does his own riding in this gem. cycling is what launched brown's career, you know, as his entree to vaudeville was on two wheels. the guy really was quite a character, and the final event in the six-day features some of the most amazing feats of bike handling you'll ever see--x-games or not.
gotta run--the jiffy pop is jumpin' in the kitchen!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

the sun is shining a little [lot] brighter today

just this morning, a friend told me that her mother always said "if you can't say something nice about someone, then shut up." or something like that. well, i'm not about to pass on the death of robert novak, one of the most evil people ever to have a talk show on television. but in honor of my friend's mom, i'll say this about bob novak, who was known as the "prince of darkness"-- upon his death, the world is a brighter, nicer place.

robert novak, here shown stalking off the set of his "point-counterpoint"-type show with james carville, after he got pissed about something or other. novak's nadir as a straight-shooting journalist came when he outed valerie plume as an undercover agent for the cia, a well-documented fact that he steadyfastly danced around.

Friday, August 14, 2009

a clash of cultures, & a clash of understanding

i was sent a link to a quite interesting piece from sports illustrated.
to read it, click here. it's long, but it's a pretty damned good read.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

i've been saying for years that cycling makes me feel better. here's why!

"A Berlin brothel has come up with a novel way to offset the impact of the global economic crisis and target a new group of customers at the same time - offering a discount to patrons who arrive on bicycles. "The recession has hit our industry hard," said Thomas Goetz, owner of the Maison d'envie brothel.
"Obviously we hope that the discount will attract more people," he added. "It's good for business, it's good for the environment - and it's good for the girls." Customers who arrive on bicycle or who can prove they took public transportation get a €5 ($7) discount from the usual €70 ($100) fee for 45 minute sessions, Mr Goetz said. He said the environmentally friendly offer was working a charm.
"We have around 3-5 new customers coming in daily to take advantage of the discount," he said, adding the green rebate has helped alleviate traffic and parking congestion in the neighbourhood. Germany is one of the few countries in the world where prostitution is legal. It has about 400,000 prostitutes who, since 2002, have been allowed to enter formal labour contracts."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

is it time for biker bucks?

pedalgrl, the kim west radio cycling show's northeast iowa correspondent, tells of a small dispute brewing in her neck of the woods about where and whether bikes should be parked in a business district. read here for details: http://pedalgrl.blogspot.com/2009/07/thoughts.html
. . . . .
my initial reaction was to purchase a rubber stamp that reads "biker bucks" and stamp all your paper currency. let the business people know the power of two legs in a language they understand.
thoughts?
at des moines stamp company, an old-fashioned one that requires an ink pad is $8. $25.90 will get you a perma-inked stamper. i am told that if you spend $50, you get 10% off; spend $100, get 15% off; $150, 20% off.
NOW any thoughts?
i can take orders for biker bucks stamps in the comments section.

finally- a reason to wear a helmet?

i hear it all the time:
"where's your helmet?" [said by a highway patrolman in an intersection]
"hey, organ donor, do you know where i can find a bar?" [said by a guy--one of many--wearing stars & stripes-styled jerseys as we roll into a small town]
"hey, wear a helmet! you're breaking all the rules & laws of ragbrai!" [said by a guy in full-aero tuck on his tri-style bike, as we safely pass him on his left. he chased me down after i cupped my ear and said "what" three times to chew my ass.]
"you're setting a bad example" [a fat man on a bike as i rode by]
.....
but there might be a reason to pull the old giro out of the zippered case and slip it on the noggin: the much misunderstood firefighter on a sunday morning in asheville, north carolina, on a crusade to keep young children safe.
did anyone get the make and model of the cyclist's helmet?
read here for more.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

the ride to ragby, day one

large groups of bicyclists descend upon the atlantic super 8
recipe for a good day
ingredients:
--five friends
--80 miles
--five bicycles
mix liberally
add:
--80 miles of headwinds
--three miles gravel
--2 pinch flats [to ME, of all things!]
--free beer from the baggers at the east end of the white pole road
[we just crossed over i-80 west of earlham and
we saw 25 to 30 assorted loaded bikes and cyclists
cheering as we approached. i asked "did i hear free beer?" and it was on.]

--2 smoking rooms at the super 8 in atlantic
--2 large casey's pizza
--3 six-packs of beer [including guinness]
--assorted sweet things from a bakery
--versus tour coverage
--20 extra miles to roll it up to an even 100 for the day
shape five sleepy cyclists into four large beds,
and let rest overnight

--let the old guy wake up at 130 to go to the lobby to blog
--get up at 600 am for the free breakfast buffet
--add 3 1/2 to 4 hours live tour
--set out for 50 damned hilly miles of riding to council bluffs
and hope like hell the wind has changed!!
.....
life is good . . .

Thursday, July 16, 2009

hello again

[for explanation, see below]
.....
i've been problem-solving lately, this time at the american mustache institute's think tank. i can't really disclose what we've been thinking about, but it's beginning to look a lot better for the hairy lippers among us.
let's just leave it at that.
but those of you who have been asking about my health and whereabouts, thank you, and please understand that every now and again, i am called to a higher cause, and i must respond. but my heart remains here, at the orphanage.
my own personal mustache, by the way, is alive and well, and is looking forward to a little sun and relaxation over the next few days.
see you on the road.
i hope to be filing dispatches from along the way...
cheerio!
.....
by the way, since i'll be somewhat more mobile the next few days, and will be without my vast photo library, i thought i'd upload a photo that, should my posts NEED photo illustration, i'll have one at the ready. it will be up to you, my faithful readers, to imagine the more appropriate illustration. maybe you could post links in the comments section. in the meantime, you'll have to rely on mine, with a supplied caption.
it's a little quiz, of sorts, i suppose.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

we answer the obvious


Dear Dr. Science,
How come no matter which direction I ride my bicycle,
the wind blows against me?
--from Christopher Coughlin of Colorado Springs, CO
A: Were you born after 1950? I detect in your question a kind of "the world owes me a living" whine that's so prevalent in people of that generation. Instead of feeling gratitude for the fact that you have a bicycle, or two legs to ride it, you complain that bike riding moves you through the sea of air, producing the effect of a wind on your face. If you rode your bike in a vacuum, the troublesome wind would vanish, but the cumbersome life support system you'd have to wear to accomplish this would make a little headwind seem like a blessing.

Friday, July 03, 2009

news from inside the arctic circle

first-term alaska governor and former star on the television series "rosanne" sarah chalke has announced that she will surrender her crown as "miss alaska" as soon as the end of this month, it was reported by the office of donald trump, who owns the competition which resulted in ms. chalke winning the title two years ago. ms. chalke immediate plans are unknown at this time, although she previously indicated she would like "to work to preserve the institution of marriage" and "see russia."
she has also told close advisors that she really enjoys reading newspapers, and is becoming quite proficient at sodoku, a numbers game.

reason prevails in france, zirbel prevails in fitchberg, chaos prevails in kazakhstan

the score on friday:
tour organizers--1
tour competition--1
tour fans--1
fantasy league players--1
.....
the classic "everyone wins" scenario. well, there might be some bruised and battered egos here and there, mais que sera sera, oui?
.....
and elsewhere...
local hero tom zirbel is at it again, this time with a 23-second lead after a wet 14.3 km time trial in the four-day race. this follows his starring role as the ultimately heart-broken leader of the nature valley grand prix. hopefully, tom won't be reprising this role, but with FOUR kelley benefits riders filling out the top-5 after stage 1, and with sprint bonuses abundant, it's going to be a real team effort, whatever the outcome.
best of luck to tom and all my friends at the bissell pro cycling team; likewise, good luck to my friends at kelley benefits, too. i love cycling like this.
.....
will it be a bloodless coup at astana? has the lance contingent already been woken up and told to go the the airport, honduran-style? in an international replay of the locally-famous "loyalty ploy," soon-to-be born-again speedster and drug fan alexander vinokourov has announced that he is prepared to regain control of his baby, and is fit to be a good daddy once again. and he has the love, money, and support of the kazakh minister of everything relevant.
i DO enjoy the man's cycling style; it's not surprising that his social and business skills in of the same vein.
next year's gonna be interesting, clearly.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

pssst! c'mere; i've got a deal for you...

when i stumble upon something really fantastic, my first instinct is to share my good fortune with others. i can't help it; it's what makes me a democrat, among other things.
so when i found this in my in-box--NOT in my spam filter--i immediately knew what i HAD to do.
and here it is.
i'm sharing this with you essentially as i was given it; glean from it what you will. i can't tell you what to do ["you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it order it with a slice of lime."]
. . . . .
When God wants something done, He always gives it to ONE PERSON to do—a Moses, a Peter, a Paul, a David, a Gideon, a Mary. Had you noticed?
In Pray and Be Rich, Dr. Richard Gaylord Briley reveals a startling Biblical truth that has great implications for your life:
One person, committed to a goal, is all God needs to change the world.
He’s done it many times. And if history turns many more pages, He’ll surely do it again. At the very least, you and God together can change your world.
The new audio program – Pray and Be Rich – is about one person—YOU—and the success plans that God has for all who believe, pray and act on the message of the Bible.
To start, to get the most from this sensational audio program and find daring faith to act upon your God-given potential for success, you must already believe that:
The Bible is more than humanity’s oldest book of living wisdom—though it is at least that.
Life has meaning and purpose.
Your life has a special purpose, even if that purpose and a plan to achieve it are not yet clear to you.
In Pray and Be Rich, Dr. Briley unlocks the Bible’s secrets about wealth, its use and abuse.
It astonishes many that Jesus spoke more about wise use of our possessions (our wealth) than any other subject. Riches are extensions of whatever we make of ourselves. Wealth is extra power to use for good or evil.
All babies are born poor. But as you’ll find out in Pray and Be Rich, five percent of them, in free societies, grow up to be richer than the rest.
This widely-ignored fact gives extra hope for success to anyone with a clear goal in life.
Pray and Be Rich reveals the Biblical secrets that will enable you to become a member of the five percent of people who rise to the top and succeed.
About Dr. Briley – creator of Pray and Be Rich
Richard Gaylord Briley is a protégé of both Arthur S. DeMoss, the billionaire philanthropist, and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, with whom he worked 18 years.
In Pray and Be Rich, Dr. Briley reveals the secrets he learned from Peale and DeMoss – both of whom used Biblical secrets to become great successes.
In Pray and Be Rich, Briley reveals how to apply purposeful faith and “seven spiritual secrets of success” (hidden in plain view in the Bible) to reach life-enhancing goals.
Thousands say this program has helped to put them on their path to success.
While learning what’s in this book, Dr. Briley raised over two billion dollars for religious and charitable causes, started two medical research foundations and found true success to be spiritually based.
He says, “My major life purpose to help people solidify vague dreams into measured, reachable goals.” In fact, God wants his believers to be a success!

the really groovy thing is that this book--which really DOES contain the bible's heretofore unrevealed "7 secrets of success"--isn't all that you get for just $9.95 [you read THAT right--down from the regular retail price of $49.95. you ALSO get "the deck of reagan." read below for just a sample of the wit and wisdom you can learn from playing solitaire--or go fish--with the deck of reagan.

go forth and be successful--or rich, whichever comes first.

and tell me about it...