Tuesday, October 31, 2006

a rabbi, an old order amish minister,
and a unitarian universalist walk into a mule race
at a county fair. it seems that one of the mules had taken
a serious interest in not racing that particular afternoon,
and to make things worse, this old mule was causing a bit
of a commotion, what with all her braying, kicking and stomping.
the old timers had seen a lot of obstinence over the years,
but this old girl had a will and determination, combined with her
noteworthy size, that rendered her a potentially lethal mule.
mildred, the mule, had thrown walter, her owner, and as well
as three other farmers who had been sitting on the fence nearby
and who had nobly but unsuccessfully tried to rein her in.
when mildred noticed the trio approaching the ring,
she reared on her hind legs, and let out a mighty snort.
the rabbi rushed up, and with his arms flailing, shouted
" - - - - - !"
the angry mule continued her perilous stampede.
slightly bemused, the unitarian universalist skipped up,
hopped the fence in a single bound, and sang out,
" - - - - -!"
again, the mule refused to respond.
in fact, she seemed even more inspired.
slowly, the old order amish minister approached the ring.
he looked directly in her eyes, and she immediately began
slowly to return to earth. with a barely perceptible tremble,
which seemed to grow with each step mildred took,
her eyes never leaving the amish minister's gaze,
he slowly approached mildred's trailer, and
turned to his two companions and said,
" - - - - -."
[i've gotta get a new cell phone carrier, dammit.]

Monday, October 30, 2006

the entries are rolling in!
seems everyone wants a chance
to win SOMEthing, especially after
getting shut out at the cross race sunday.
this is just a reminder of this winter's
the weather WILL turn cold
[the temperature is dropping as i type]
so don't get shut out in the cold!
there really is no entry procedure, but
feel free to post your intentions as a comment
to one of these posts, and then

. . .
Bushism of the Day, By Jacob Weisberg
"No doubt in my mind, with your help,
Dave Lamberti will be the next United States congressman."
—Speaking at a campaign rally for Jeff Lamberti,
Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 26, 2006.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

over the years, i've had many friends who taught english to japanese students...

NOW i know why!!

i stole this post--
and i'm not ashamed!!
it originally appeared in
it is an open letter to motorists who dislike cyclists,
subtitled "things a non-cyclist might not understand."
. . .
I ride my bike year-round as my main means of transportation. My bike is not a toy. I don't aspire to be Lance Armstrong. I'm not too poor to afford a car. I choose a bicycle because its healthier for me, and healthier for the city I live in. I'm not riding in the middle of the lane to slow you down or thwart you. I'm just trying to do the same thing as you - get from point A to point B safely.
. . .
I ride in the middle of the lane if the lane is too narrow to share safely. This is actually a courtesy to you, because you don't have to guess how wide your vehicle is versus how much space is available, and decide if you have to change lanes or not. If the lane next to you is wide open, it really isn't necessary to blast your horn or yell things out your window. Maybe you think there's room for me to be riding in the gutter, but I really have a better view of the pavement there than you do. There's debris there that will flatten my tires, and potholes that can break my bones. If I need to swerve to avoid some garbage someone threw out their car window, I need room to maneouver. Its not going to make either of our days if we collide.
. . .
While we are on the subject of yelling things out the window, your vehicle is loud. Unless we are both stopped at a traffic light, it is unlikely I can make out the words you are saying. Maybe its better to focus your attention on not hitting things that are front of you rather than letting me know "(mumble mumble)...you'll get hit". I also know where the bike paths are, I have a map. But where I'm going is not on the path. Thank you though to the driver that stopped to let me know my headlight made a big difference. It was nice to know it was appreciated.
. . .
I put on lights at night so you can see me. I ride in a predictable line so I don't surprise you by my presence. I don't weave between parked cars so I don't startle you when I emerge from behind one. I'm sorry I didn't move over so you could use the three car-length gap between parked cars as your personal passing lane. In an ideal world I would ride far enough away from your car door that it wouldn't matter if you flung it open when I least expected it. But the downtown streets are very congested and there's not a lot of space available. So please look before you open your door. I try to make it easier for you by ringing my bell if I see you parking so you know I'm there. In limited space world, cyclists are often using the rest of a parking lane. Please try to park as close to the curb as you can.
. . .
You may think riding a bicycle in a downpour or a snowstorm is crazy. Its actually quite pleasant if you're dressed for it. But I don't expect you to "get it". I only expect you to remember that there's still a human being riding a bicycle out there. Flooring it through puddles to make the biggest splash possible is not funny. Passing too close is never a good idea, but in a snowstorm when the roads are slippery, please leave as much space as you can.
. . .
While I may appear to be a very competent cyclist, and you may fancy yourself a very competent driver, its still a good idea to leave at least 3 feet when passing me. While you may not actually brush me when you pass too close, it is still frightening to have 2000 pounds of steel a few inches from your shoulder.
. . .
Some roads have bicycle lanes painted on them. In an ideal world cyclists and motorists should be able to share the roadway without special lines. But after being honked at one too many times for taking a narrow lane, or buzzed too close by attempting to share one, bike lanes become a place of refuge. Please try to have some respect for this refuge by finding a different spot to park your car when you want to run into Starbucks, and definitely do not think of this space as the way to get around a left-turning vehicle.
. . .
Remember that the bike lane is there when you want to turn right, and that there might be a cyclist in it. The lanes are dotted near intersections for a reason, you should merge into this lane when you want to turn right. Note that merge does not mean cut off. You aren't doing me a favour by waiting to turn right while leaving the bike lane open. I will never pass you on the right when you are signalling right, as I have no idea if you see me or not. If you merge, I have room to pass you on the left in your lane of traffic to go straight while you wait for pedestrians crossing etc. If you don't merge, there's no room for me to go around easily.
. . .
Remember those hand turn signals from the drivers education handbook? I try to use them as much as possible to let you know what I'm going to do. While it might seem redundant to signal a stop when approaching a four-way stop, I know that not all people on bicycles stop. The signal is a courtesy to you, so you know that you can proceed because I will stop. Sometimes I need my hands on my bike but you should be able to infer from my lane position what I am going to do. If I am in the left lane of the road it means I am going to turn left. I'm not there to enjoy the scenery. If you want to turn left as well, this means you should wait behind me. Trying to turn left from the right side of the roadway is only going to put us both in conflict.
. . .
I try to make my best guesses what you might do next from your lane position. You can help take out the guesswork. While it may seem that the turn signal has gone out of fashion, I really do appreciate when you use it in advance. This lets me move as best as possible so we don't have any conflict.
. . .
The world will not end if you cannot make a right turn on a red light. If there was a car in front of you, would you honk because you wanted to make a right turn? Because I am small enough to move over to let you do so does not always mean it is safe to do so. If it is safe, and I see you signalling right in my rearview mirror, I will move over and let you go by. Please do not try to squeeze between me in the middle of the lane and the car in the next lane when there clearly is not enough space. Repeatedly leaning on the horn will only get on both of our nerves.
. . .
I can move faster than you think. While you may think a bicycle is too slow to be practical for transportation - in downtown Toronto most of the time, including the time spent to park, I will beat you to your destination. While you were so anxious to pass me, perhaps you didn't notice that I have caught up with you again at the next red light. It isn't a race from red light to red light, so if you need to slow down for a few seconds it isn't the end of the world. Think how much more I would slow you down if I was a full-width car trying to make a left turn onto a side street in busy traffic. If you cannot judge how fast I am moving please err on the side of caution when turning left in front of me, or pulling out of your parking spot. But if in your rearview mirror, you see me waving in the direction you want to move it means I see you and you have time to go.
. . .
I appreciate your kind attempts to let me have the right-of-way when it is not mine. Being on a bicycle its hard losing your momentum again and again at every stop sign. But most of the time its easier if you just go. If you stop to let me cross mid block the car behind you might get surprised and rear-end you.
. . .
I'm sorry if I break the occasional traffic law, which were designed with the dangers inherent in the automobile in mind. I may slow down and scan the intersection rather than come to a complete stop at a four-way stop, because its really hard on me to constantly lose my momentum. I know this is not legal, but its quite safe at bicycle speed. Just as its not legal for you to be going over the speed limit but I doubt you always are obeying it. Please try not to get angry at me about this when I not disrespecting anyone else's right-of-way at the same time. If you are at the cross street, I will stop. Recognize though that I am human and make mistakes. I may have missed the sign that says "caution northbound traffic does not stop" when proceeding at what I thought was a stop sign for both of us. If we both try to be aware of what each other is doing and compensate for it, then mistakes on either of our part do not have to become crashes. Its much more likely I made a mistake if you see me doing something "dangerous" as opposed to having a death wish.
. . .
If you haven't noticed already, there are a whole lot of people riding their bicycles around downtown Toronto. All kinds of people find the bicycle useful. Just as there are drivers deficient in common sense, there are people riding bikes without common sense as well. I don't happen to know the Joe schmoe who you saw riding a bike down the center of a busy one-way arterial in the wrong direction snarling traffic. Please do not assume I'm going to behave like Joe schmoe. Or take your anger at Joe out on me by honking or yelling at me from the other side of the road, where I cannot possibly be in your way. Also be glad Joe was not driving a car where he would be a real danger to everyone.
. . .
I am very aware of my surroundings when I am on a bicycle. I can hear when you are behind me by the sound of your engine. You don't need to toot to let me know you are there. I'm never sure whether you are trying to let me know you are there, trying to say hello to me, wanting me to move, or whether you are just angry.
. . .
I was going to say that in conclusion all I really want is for you to treat me with the same respect you would treat any other road user. But after noticing the frequency with which motorists hit each other, I would add an extra caveat. Please recognize that cyclists are more vulnerable road users. Before you wish them off the road, remember they are helping to ease traffic congestion. When in doubt as to who should go next, let the more vulnerable road user proceed. And keep in mind that leaving space always helps road safety, whether its an extra foot when passing a cyclist, or an extra few feet stopping behind the car in front of you. When we work cooperatively on the roads rather than a mad competition, we can all get where we are going just a little less stressfully.
. . .
Thanks. And thank you to the motorists that already get it. Thank you for waiting before opening your door. Thank you for leaving a safe amount of space when passing. Thank you for waiting patiently behind when it was not safe to pass. Thank you for signalling. Thank you for respecting the speed limit which makes the roads just a little bit saner to be travelling on. Thank you for noticing when I made a mistake and avoiding a collision. Thank you for slowing to let me in when I stuck out my arm because I wanted to move into the left turn lane. Thank you for not using your horn when it was not necessary. Thank you for all the little ways that you cooperate.
or so i've been told by squirrel,
and some guy named frank in havertown, pa,
and by my own observations of chad, dave, lou,
no doubt many more that i'll see
. . .
now, as i see it, NObody can touch chad
in these parts, so i'm going for style points.

a little season touch [above]
with a good measure of patience [below]
* * *

should put me in the running, anyway...

AND score some always-needed tough guy points.

keep us all apprised of your intentions to enter.

i'll have a really cool prize in, what, march?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Las Urracas Parlanchinas - Cazando Alces

in honor of "opening day" . . . here's one for all hunters!

Friday, October 27, 2006

. . .
ask brent for a ride!
another view
look closely . . . i think you'll be able to
enlarge this, if you want to.
you might have to save it to your own computer
to do it, but if you are at all interested in
what a collapsed lung is all about, do it.
. . . . .
so, look at the area right at the first rib
you encounter moving up from my liver...
[looking inside my chest cavity]
follow that rib as it curves up and to the right...
you'll see what appears to be a hair across
the image... that's the upper edge of my lung!
christ! what's it doing down THERE???
i figured there would be a big old black blotch.
this view was taken before they inserted that
crazy tube. the tube acted as a siphon tube,
keep the bottom of the tube, which was
attached to a little plastic box with a handle-
-a sick little briefcase filling with BLOODY goo.
every now and then, they'd attach the box to
the suction thing on the wall but generally,
i was free to roam. it still amazes me, first,
that it got that far down there, and second,
that is came back so quickly.
i need to look at this from time to time, like today,
when i get so damned impatient when i'm
out riding, and feel myself a little short of breath.
[refer to my prior post about things
. . . . .
update about me, for those who are keeping
track: since getting the all-clear the 18th,
i've been riding outside. i had hoped to ride
every day this week, but, mindful of the
fragile nature of my right lung, i decided to stay
inside earlier this week when it was rainy, and
earlier when it was really cold. i was advised
to avoid pneumonia, and what the hell, ok, i will.
so i've been gradually building up saddle
time, from one hour to two hours, to today,
when i got in about 45 minutes cruiser time
around noon, followed by about two and a half
hours this afternoon. the legs are fine.
but i am still experiencing a hell of a lot of pain
with that new, full-suspension collarbone.
and my little bib shorts aren't helping matters any.
but, oh well. i'm riding. and sometimes, i'm riding
with my sling. if it allows me to ride longer and
with less pain, then i'm all for it.
i look forward to actually riding with other people.
[sounds like a bad folk trio]
in waterworks park today, and i'm planning
to ride with belling tomorrow. keith can
certainly appreciate riding with rearranged
bones as well as anyone, so it should be tolerable.
. . . . .
oh, while riding through waterworks, i tried
some gravel sections... and i'm not ready for
gravel nights! climbing the hills south of
grand was fun. no pulling on the bars.
i look forward to getting better.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

things we take for granted, vol. 1
. . .
$ $ $ $ $
my half-sister is under-going
a double mascectomy today, and
our tepid relationship notwithstanding, i am really
quite concerned for her and her family.
she is a very loving person, and has done a lot and
meant a lot for my daughter, and now for my granddaughter.
it is quite common for me to hear, if not daily, then several times a week,
people say, often ruefully, that there is more to life than
work, work, work,
and how they really miss this loved one or that,
or that they wish they had spent more time with,
or said one last time that,
or had taken the time to whatever with whomever.
whether the cause of these sentiments is the discovery
that some friend or loved one has cancer,
or that someone has lost their job,
or that a friend was killed in a tragic accident
makes no difference; the fact remains that many people too often
get wrapped in their own day-to-day and forget
the very things that make one's worthwhile.
. . .
the good news is that there are many ways to
replenish one's karmic bank account, and in so doing
make yourself a little more likely to take a
personal accounting of the many things you have
for which you are--or should be--grateful.
and here is but one, and i tip my hat not only to
those who are putting it one, but also to those
who intend to take part.
. . . . .
i think that putting energy and effort into the food bank
might be one of the purest acts of generosity and kindness
a person can undertake, and is one of the
loudest statements a member of society can make.
always vote,
always be thankful of who and what you have,
always be mindful of the above,
and at least every now and then [it's a start!]
help out those who aren't as fortunate as you.
and donny, dan, greg, and the rest of y'all,
thanks for doing this.
i hope it becomes a regular event on the

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

michael j. fox & rush limbaugh

why i don't listen to rush limbaugh
sorry about the video; i understand the actual footage was shown
on nbc news last night, but i haven't found them--yet.
limbaugh's comments--and the attitude they evidence--
just disgust me.
and he's RICH from this?
the things that people listen to--and BELIEVE--just amaze me.
REALLY, people, do you believe this guy?
sorry about getting all political an stuff, but i read about these
comments, and this just crossed the lines of decency,

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

if album titles REALLY meant
what they said...

Monday, October 23, 2006

vw: the language of love!
i don't really understand, word for word, what is being said
in this commercial, but her smile will last only as long as
her hairdo.
if it lasts longer, he will propose marriage.
hopefully, they will remember
the mostly reverend.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

radiology 101
i thought i'd post three or four of the
sixteen views that i have, taken over the course
of the six days i was in methodist hospital,
a couple weeks ago.
then, while closely re-examining these to select the ones
to post, i got a little sick to my stomach.
i can't go through all sixteen in one sitting.
so i'll just start with this one,
which shows kind of a quarter-view of
my right shoulder.
this rather dramatically shows not only
the sizeable gap between sections at
the distal end, but it also gives a nice idea
of how fucked-up my right clavicle was following
the injury i suffered in 1992 at the hands of
the city of ames.
i'll post another view which will show my pristine
left clavicle.
[see if you can spot the broken ribs.]
. . . . .

usa cycling:
working for you!
. . .
i suspect we all received an email this week from usacycling, our savior and master, telling us about yet another service they provide its members.
diligent member that i am, after a few days, i checked out sponsorhouse.com
guess what? it's a dating service!
seriously. they claim it puts riders with teams and sponsors, but you tell me.
i went to the sponsorhouse site, and the first thing i clicked was a thumbnail of the above photo [she listed her sport as "short board" but i think "long board" may be the route she's trying to take].
scroll long enough through her photos and you'll see she's another jonbenet who survived adolescence.
all this for only, what is it now, $50 a year?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

bikes...really cool bikes
as pig, and other race winners who
regularly read
today's sermonette
already know, ultimately, the orphanage
[and the mostly reverend himself along with
all the various orphans over the years]
is all about really cool bikes, and the many
and limitless joys which do flow from having
and more importantly just
riding really cool bikes.
and as readers of today's sermonette may have gathered, the mostly reverend spent a little more time than usual recently abed.
. . . . .
i took advantage of this little break from the hustle and bustle of being CEO of the orphanage to spend time doing what i love second only to riding bikes: READING!
one of my favorite books of all time is shown above, and can be ordered from my best new bookseller, the schwinn stingray bible. i have a few of these killer bikes, and not the fancy "exotics" that command the big bucks on eBay. the speed demons i have hanging in the bike locker at the orphanage are the ones you tear ass up and down the neighborhoods, pissing off folks as you cut through backyards and flower gardens, their w--i--d--e, pre-consumer product safety commission ape hangers forcing you to finesse between garages at times.
\\ //
\\ //
it was with great delight that i came upon this video on you tube yesterday, which reminded me of an accessory which led to the destruction of countless pairs of roller skates in my neighborhood.
squirrel, i see you in here; hell, teri's in this video, too.
[and if i knew how, you'd see the little screen right here.
but i'm learning! NEXT time!!]
. . .
i know, some purists may claim they're like training wheels, but in numbers, they were a thing of beauty.
and don't get me started on sissy bars--yet!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

guitar dave:
THIS one's for YOU!!
pictured above are three pretty
respectable guitar slingers, from left,
warren haynes, ben harper, and derek trucks.
check out this new clip of derek with his
current bandmate, eric clapton.
then practice, dave, practice

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

- - - -
+ + + +
i'm not
i fully understand
and appreciate that.
. . .
but, just as i no longer have
that weird little hair thing going
[it having been replaced by another
weird little hair thing years ago],
i understand that despite
any and everything that i might or might not do
to prevent or encourage it,
time is passing.
opportunities come, present themselves, and then go.
they do this whether they are acted upon or not.
long ago, i learned that it's much easier not to worry or stress about what i did or didn't, and whether i should or shouldn't have, because the simple fact of the matter is that i either did or didn't, and not having or wanting a karl rove around to edit and spin my history, i was stuck with what i had helped to write. i'm cool with that.
but that doesn't mean that i treat the passage of time with any sort of cavalier flippancy.
oh, no; not me. i treasure and highly value the time i have. it is, without giving it a whole lot of thought, my most cherished possession. i always want to feel good about how i spend it. i never want to regret how i have used this precious and irreplaceable commodity.
so, it was with great pleasure today that when i went to the hospital for my check-up that i learned that it seems that everything i've done lately, both before AND after my crash has been seemingly the correct thing to do. imagine that! despite many of my VERY well-meaning friends who have expressed sadness at my plight, i have felt really, on the whole, quite positive about it. it has been an amazing learning experience: learning about myself, my resilience, the ability of my body to take, absorb, suffer, heal and recover from a rather brutal impact and then remain on course, with just a slight delay. a minor readjustment period. the doc told me that my lung looked excellent, that my collarbone was healing and mending quite nicely, symmetrically, and that i should just keep doing what i was doing before and at the time i crashed--except for crashing, actually--and that that should be all the physical therapy i would need.
i'll be damned.
they said that the only limiting factor would be my pain threshold, coupled with my undoubtedly keen common sense. lift weights, but not too much on the right side, for a while. do all the crunches i want, as long as i can tolerate the inevitable but gradually diminishing pain. lat pull-downs, good; butterfly curls, good; all that stuff, good.
but don't overdo it. ease in to it.
that's cool.
i've learned from the first broken collarbone how to ride, and how to NOT ride while healing. i've learned from my many broken ribs how to breathe, and how to accommodate.
and my general abhorrence of crashing should serve me well to avoid further lung and liver damage.
[so guys, don't take me down. don't fuck with me for a while.]
i won't be riding much gravel for a while,
but i will.
pig, i'll be doing that race in louisiana; you can have arkansas.
we'll match trophies afterwards!
but, man oh man, i am one happy old fart tonight.
i'm NOT a kid again,
but i FEEL like one!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

you might think i haven't been very busy today,
not much to do...
but you'd be WRONG!!!
i've actually had
QUITE the productive day!
and still, i have time for
? ? ? ? ? ?
and this concludes our broadcast day.
thanks for watching.

+ + + + + +
creating the picture perfect
pictures help!

? ? ? ? ? ? ?
the mostly
. . .
? ? ? ? ? ? ?
. . .
. . .
in the mailbag today was a question from right here in capitol city, iowa.
a reader seeks access to the fabled "orphanage cookbook" which
has fed literally hundreds and hundreds of open mouths
over the decades.
. . .
the reader writes, in part:
dear ask the reverend,
what's the secret to eating like
a real bike racer?
you know, getting actual nutrition,
but on a bikie's budget!
signed, not eating right
? ? ? ?
dear not,
that's a great question!
and it presents a wonderful opportunity for me,
the mostly reverend,
to mention an upcoming series of features in
today's sermonette
in which i will share the secrets of
my special weight loss plan, which i call
. . . . .
"the get up off your fat ass
and skip a meal, fat ass!! diet"
--it's good!
--it's tasty!
--it's CHEAP!!!
? ? ? ? ? ?
today, we cover breakfast...
the first meal of the day, and as mom always said,
your first opportunity to do the dishes,
so keep it simple!
? ? ? ? ? ?
this is what we serve at the orphanage
[and with luck, i'll get the photos posted in the correct order]
[well, i have NO idea where the photos went!]
anyway, from the imaginary first picture,
we see the ingredients to the two variants:
grits [or oatmeal],
brown sugar,
mandarin orange segments,
rasins [for oatmeal only],
oh, and COFFEE!
you make a double batch of grits [or oatmeal]
and as it cooks, stir in the cinnamon.
put a half can of orange segments in your cereal bowl,
and stir in three large tablespoons of applesauce
as the cooking nears completion.
[if you make oatmeal, stir in a 1/4 cup of raisins prior
to adding the applesauce]
lovingly spoon your meal into your bowl.
sprinkle 2 or 3 teaspoons of dark brown sugar
over the top of your breakfast.
enjoy with lots of dark roast coffee.
spend about an hour eating,
drinking coffee,
and reading a book for pleasure.
this VERY filling meal
contains NO FAT
and costs about:
$.25 for cereal,
$.26 for oranges,
mere pennies for applesauce,
about $.10 for raisins,
whispers for cinnamon,
$.02 for brown sugar,
and maybe $.10 for your coffee.
what's that add up to?
add the value of reading for pleasure
and you're a damned fool if you don't!!
. . . . .
and then, get up off
your fat ass
and do something
the rest of the morning!!
. . . . .
then skip a meal.
pretty simple, if you ask ME!
[i wonder where the photos went?
i'll post them separately later, if they don't appear.
and if someone actually KNOWS
what the hell i'm not doing correctly,
please post a comment.
we take such contributions here at
the orphanage!]
so many ideas,
so little time,
such utter lack
of cooperation
from aol!
. . . . .
@ # $ % ^ & * +
today's post is dedicated to
* * * * *
[let's see if i can make this work...]

Sunday, October 15, 2006

this just in!!
sucks being sick;
sucks taking meds;
sucks not being able to race,
when all about you,
your friends are.
okay, i'm climbing off my whiny chair.
but i thought i post this for
my family and friends
who thought i would never listen to them.
they don't need to worry any more.
i've spent enough time feeling shitty,
and since the nurse says i gotta take
my meds
[a euphemism for pain pills]
to get better, i will.
[but, nurse, will you help me get un-hooked?]
. . .
i'm gonna go to sleep now.....

Friday, October 13, 2006

self medication....

i've been trying to wean myself
from the medication the doctors
had been giving me.

i was fairly certain that the pain
would not be so great
that a tough guy like me
couldn't suffer through without help.


after doing a short velodyne workout yesterday,
and driving on a cold, windy day in a 50-year-old
volkswagen, my body said "fuck you, dude. you want
tough guy points, here ya go."
well, after spending the afternoon with a patient 2-year-old
granddaughter tapping me on the knee, saying,
"poppa, wake up. WAKE UP, poppa!"
i was ready for a cocoa and warm blanket.
instead, i got a nicely over-stuffed chair, ottoman, and comforter.
i awoke this morning, stumbled into my daughter's kitchen and
fired up the coffee maker, and took an assessment.
my ribs still hurt like hell, my shoulder was still drooping,
although it was cooperating a little more each day.
everyone SAID i should just go to the hospital yesterday,
but i had too much to do yesterday and today, so there you have it...
but TODAY? nope. three hours of work, and i could pop some relief, and call it a week.
you folks who can hop on your bikes and ride better do it, and be glad you can.
there's one guy here who would LOVE to trade his vicodin for a cliff bar and water bottle.
until then, though...
more observations from worlds...
and not necessarily in this order!
as i've indicated earlier, i'm pretty lame
when it comes to making computers
actually DO what i want them to do...
so imagine this photo below...
AFTER these two photos...
the first one, below, where young marianne vos is looking back,
with LESS than 50 meters to go to a rainbow jersey.
the 19-year-old--
WITHOUT a team--

has been attacking, almost taunting the peloton,

it would seem,

but she's just not believing that no one's with her...

unbelievable, is my impression!!

this is what the commentator said:

13:18 CEST Yesterday's races showed that this course

favors keen sprinters who aren't afraid to be aggressive.

Women's winner Marianne Vos attacked several times coming into the finale,

but still managed to win the sprint by several bike lengths.

Oddly enough, Vos doesn't even have a trade team - she rides for a club.

Surely she's gotten a few offers overnight!

[donny? can we find something to offer her?]

hard work, once again, the key to success on a bike.


let's all ride like a world champion!!
[i'm sitting at home, not riding, risking neither life nor lung,
cleaning out my email in box,
and i find this note to myself from last month.
it is an idea for today's sermonette,
so here it is...]
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

. . . . .
[from cyclingnews.com live coverage of the men's time trial]
16:17 CEST A superior ride by the Swiss rider.
Gutierrez is done, well behind the top three,
and now Rogers has already gone over Cancellara's time,
so Cancellara is now the new world champion!
The Belgian commentators tell us that
Cancellara sets a good example for all the young riders
by stopping at all red lights during training.
Nothing stopped him today, however,
and he's looking pretty happy at the moment.
+ + + + +
see? it's all in creating the proper karma--
you'll get yours in the end...
just ask fabian!!
the most polite world champion in the world!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

a day's assessment . . .
* * * * *

hey, susan--
troubling day, today was.
periods of lucidity are coming more frequently, and lasting longer.
ribs hurting less pointedly, and more generally,
which i view as a good thing.
mowed the lawn, using good arm for pushing and pulling,
and the gimpy arm for directing the cord on my electric mower.
result: arm tired, but better for having been worked a bit.
doc said i should do this.
right shoulder and neck are stiff,
and it feels like i've got this wierd thing poking in and out of my delt.
probably just my clavicle!
using the sling less, trying to strenghten the muscles.
didn't sleep with it last night, but will tonight.
showering is a challenge, and a slow-motion procedure.
not terribly painful, as that is the goal.
will try to shave my legs tomorrow.
i am making lists of things to do,
but forgetting to refer to them often enough.
where's the humor in THAT irony?
feel free to give me feedback.
hope things are going well...
$ $ $ $ $
a few blogs ago, i announced the first-ever
"orphanage and you cool prize give-away contest."
. . . . .
all contestants had to do was look at a photo, and submit a caption.
we had several entries, ALL of them winners in my opinion,
but i HAD to select just one.
and i was tough!
even i lost!! brutal!!!
. . . . .
but i was fair, and in my comments to the contestants, i said this:
"we, at the orphanage, were delighted with the number of entries,
and the speed with which the first entries were made. flash!"
. . . . .
"the entries all were humorous,
but donny's made me actually chuckle out loud.
john adamson's crack about the aging,
while funny, hit a little too close to home.
and it was decided that my entry, outlining the old bull's injuries,
and his pathetic pleas to his attending physician to let him
get back into his surely suicidal pursuits in the bull ring,
just didn't have wide enough appeal to be universally truly funny."
* * *
so donny q will be awarded the first of what is certain to be
a series of swell prizes:
this time, a genuine reproduction photograph of
one of the reverend's favorite r. crumb characters:
. . .
angelfood mcspade.
. . . . .

photograde, on premium glossy paper,
framed and ready-to-hang!!
congratulations, donny q, and thanks to
all who entered.
* * *
keep reading for more opportunities to win
really swell things from the orphanage.

Monday, October 09, 2006

lessons from death
the whole experience surrounding the death of
john maxwell
and the memorial ride and events flowing therefrom
provided many priceless opportunities for
reflection and observation
that just don't happen otherwise:
1--cyclists really are a great peer group;
2--it doesn't matter the weather, racers WILL ride;
3--that the sight of a family member shooting pictures
from her cell phone as a bunch of cyclists she'll never really know
ride by, tears flowing endlessly, will trigger a similar reaction
in even the hardest hearted of people,
and create a lump that won't go away for hours,
or even days, it seems;
4--motorpacing behind a loaded hearse is as wierd as
one might think it is [and one might think it is very wierd];
5--all cemeteries should be in the country, on gravel roads;
6--chris maharry likes to ride really fast,
although he can be made to go slower;
7--chris and i share the same tolerance for
evangelical funeral services,
AND the same need for fresh air;
8--i'm not nearly "charismatic" enough,
nor do i love enough the sound of my own singing voice;
9--i'm going to take televangelist lessons;
10--i still love the smell of church funeral food; and
11--if i lose four more pounds, i'll weigh the same as chris.
oh, and 121--channel 5 referred to the ride
as "memorial race"--and i won the graveyard "sprint."
[i'm assuming my subsequent mishap is a karmic adjustment.]

what happened?
dude, i don't know where this last week went...
and as the days--and even hours--pass,
little by little, more is revealed.
things i did, things i said, most of which
i can't recall...
eerily similar to three years ago
when i suffered a concussion...
and didn't realize it for a few days, weeks, whenever...
life is interesting, the way things happen.
and you learn so much about yourself,
your body, the way things work--
or don't work--
and how easily the equilibrium is upset, and how easy
or difficult
it can be to restore and re-establish this balance.
i'll write more about the actual experience of having things stuck into me
where things ain't supposed to go,
and of watching stuff come out of you
that's supposed to stay inside you.
and i'll write about spending time with people who are
much closer to death than i care to be at this point.
it's been an autumn to remember.
so remember this:
do the things you love, and
love the things you do.
one category, which includes people, things, pets, whatever.
ride your bike; love it.
spend time with friends and family; love them.
let your dogs nuzzle you and ask to be let out at 300 am; lovethem.
[it's a good time to take another pain pill]
and if you can roll over at night and not cry out with pain,
be thankful.

Monday, October 02, 2006

all9yards, in association with the cross mafia,
proudly presents
All9 Cage Matches. . .
an evening of intellectual discourse,
and witty banter.
the challenges have been issued.
the matches are all set.
the officials have been chosen.
the venue is being prepared.
the gloves are coming off!
All9 Cage Matches
saturday, october 28, 2006

Dave Lippold vs. Lou Waugaman
Eric Lambi vs. Marc Hollander
John Newell vs. Jim Logan
Lee Venteicher vs. Andrea Venteicher
Lane Anderson vs. Dave Mable
Kurt Hantelmann vs. A Brick Wall
Brent Mitchell vs. Ross Schuchart
Kim West vs. A sharp right turn on his CX bike.
Steve Robinson vs. Scott Robinson
Chad Vandelune vs. Kurt when he done with the Brick Wall
And I will challenge any wife who is widowed from the events in a special Jell-O match.
when ticket information goes public,
you'll find it here first!!
new music alert!!
the deadstring brothers
check out this band, at deadstringbrothers.com
they have a new album, just released, on bloodshot records,
"starving winter report"
you can order it from their website for only $12.
the band is keith richards meets gram parsons.
very good stuff. they call themselves "insurgent country"
but i call it great fucking music.
* * *
* * *
reminiscent of "honky tonk women" days . . .
they are from detroit, but spend a lot of time
playing in europe, and the u.k.
they will be doing some shows back in the u.s. soon.
VERY good.
* * *
and who's this guy?

just some pathetic blogger who is trying to get this photo in to his profile
but can't think of any other way without posting it HERE first.
THAT'S how lame he is.
[you think he LIKES the look of his blog? christ, he just can't figure out
how to change the appearance, that's all!]
and isn't there always a big but somewhere?--
this cyclist is not NEARLY so happy today as he was the day
momma terri took this photo.
and he is really glad that he has a rule that states, in part,
"and always wear a real helmet when doing
SERIOUS off-road racing..."
nowhere in his book of rules is there
any reference to doing the same ON road.
sheesh...some people!
* * *
deadstring brothers