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
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
-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
-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
-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.
_____________ _________________________
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.
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


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 or or

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:
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!