Saturday, June 10, 2006


Because I had nothing better to do, or because I was avoiding anything that would have been better to do, I just counted up the posts in my blog. This post is number 176. Not necessarily an important marker, nor does it indicate a remarkable dedication to blogging for 1 1/2 years. But in the scheme of my helter skelter jump from one thing to the next type personality, it does show that I am capable of sticking with something for the long term. I have posted in every month since December 2004. For this I feel a small sense of pride.

I know in the world of blogging, I am a lightweight. Certainly in quantity and most likely in quality also. But as the gnarly dude next to me at the starting line of a mountain bike race back in the 80's said to me when I confided my feelings of inferiority at racing, "Dude, there will always be someone faster and there will always be someone slower. Just enjoy the ride."


For some reason I have been thinking of women lately. The classic women as objects of desire type thoughts is not what I am talking about. I have been considering women, men, and the world they have created for each other. Why two sexes? Wouldn't it have been a saner approach to have made us hermaphrodites. A lot of conflict and discontent could have been avoided if we just split in two once in awhile. No muss, no fuss. One sex, one direction. No erections or dysfunctions. Life would sure be damn sight easier to figure out without another sex to screw up the program.

Of course we are what we are. Two alien species forced to cohabitate, fornicate, struggling to relate. Sexual tension, Sugar and spice, vive la difference. Without the women, men would be SOL. But something tells me, without men, women would be able to function just fine. They only keep us around to do the heavy lifting.

I like women. I find their presence to be generally a positive thing. That is as long as I am not in their cross hairs. I would rather face a mob intent on lynching me than face the evil eye of my wife after being caught stupid. And even though after 25 plus years of marriage I should know better, I continue to compromise my safety on a regular basis. There is always some new stupid trick I have to pull. Ever watchful and on guard, my darling snookums is waiting with bated breath to pounce and lay me open.

I could rightfully protest that I am not always the bonehead. That oftentimes she is too quick to pull the trigger over events and circumstances that are not my doing. Shit happens. But unfortunately, my track record is so dismal, she refuses to give me the benefit of the doubt anymore. That honeymoon was over 20 years ago.

So I am resigned now to the fact that everything is my fault. Even the stupidity of my brethren. The War in Iraq, the recent mine explosions, and all the toilet seats left up in all the homes in all of the World. I have decided that there are two sexes for a very good reason. One sex gets the blame and one sex fixes blame. A match made in heaven. Without men, women would have no one to blame. Without women, men would have no one to piss off.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Random Scraps

Lunatics rule, the rest of us drool
Lunatics run amok. Scattering the quiet and calm in every direction. They stand up and scream for the sake of the noise made. They attack our senses and rattle our souls. Hammering nonsense into directives and rules. They focus on the ridiculous and bend our wills to stupid endeavors. And all the while we are distracted by their manic gyrations, the real threats loom. Growing silently patiently waiting for their turn at the front.

Okie Overdrive
Dropping down out of the mountains, I shift into okie overdrive. 70,000 pounds of 18 wheeled momentum gathers steam and I grin as the speedometer creeps up to 90. I hold the wheel loosely, letting the truck find it's own way down the three lane wide super slab. The scenery picks up the pace as it zips by my window. But wait. Oh shit! Some curves ahead. Hugging the inside of the first turn, my hands tighten on the wheel as the truck begins an 18 wheel drift to the outside. A foot of space and a puny guardraill is all that pretends to protect me from a 200 hundred foot bummer of a plunge. Just as I begin to think it is about time to revisit my past and make peace with my maker, the road curves back and I jam hard into it and ride it out. Easing on the brakes, I pass the bail outs at 80 still out of control. One more curve and another drift toward the abyss. Cannot brake now. Cannot engage the tranny, I hang on and hope those new radials live up to their rep. I try the trailer brake. All I see in my mirror is smoke and I have to let up. The road straightens up and I try to find high gear. Grind the gears, double clutch, touch the brake, grind the ...finally the shifter hooks up. Whew!, I ease her down, shift down, and as the engine screams in pain I slow down. The road flattens into the valley floor. Shaking, I pull over to the shoulder and stop. I check my britches. I also check off that stupid trick from my list of fun things to try.

No rose colored glasses here. I almost paid the highest price for being stupid on that night run from Vegas to LA back in 1977.

The Blue Jay
I wanted to kill that fucking Blue Jay. It pounced on that poor sparrow and began pecking it to death. I rushed to the rescue but pulled up short. My emotional knee jerk reaction turned to resignation at the brutality of the natural world. I chased the Jay away and peered down at that poor young sparrow. One wing obviously mangled and useless, it gazed at me from a bloodied eye socket. The eye now in the Jays stomach I guessed. Nothing I could do. Let nature run its course. I turned and walked away. Looking back, I watched a crow that must have been hanging around swoop in and take it. With a small taste of satisfaction I grinned crookedly and thought, "Well, at least that damn Blue Jay didn't get it."

The rest of the day, the violent end of the sparrow popped into my thoughts. I was not sure why it affected me so. But the lesson of that food chain moment had made a point. A rerun of sorts on how the World really works. Life is never secure or truly safe. Hazards exist and predators lurk.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Future is a Chain reaction

Our response to the recent spike in energy prices has me chuckling at the irony of it all. What a bunch of morons our population is when it comes to facing the reality they should have known was coming 40 years ago. Everyone is in a panic to find a way out of a future that seems inevitable. As is our tendency, once again we seem to only look to short term solutions rather than taking the time to think long term. I don't deny that quick fix alternatives and answers are needed, but more planning and thought needs to be done for the long haul. It always is needed but rarely do we show that kind of wisdom.

Regardless, recent events and future ones will force Americans to change their lifestyles. Our conspicuous consumption will be replaced by a more conservation minded mentality. As the price of energy skyrockets, so will the price of even the cheap crap we love to buy. I have seen it in the bike business already. Anyone who buys metal of any kind knows what I am talking about. These higher prices affect everyone, even the manufacturers of cheap junk in Asia.

I predict Americans will begin to spend less on impulse items and be more discerning about what they do buy. Pricing will still remain competitive, but quality will begin to make a comeback. The days of the throwaway lawn mower are numbered. Once we have dropped our consuming for consuming sake lifestyle, the effect on the World economy will be dramatic. The economic spike in China will cool somewhat and everyone will back it off a notch. The World cannot continue to consume on such huge scales. Or we can, and our descendants will be cursing us 100 years from now.

I will admit that it is hard to get fired up about what might be 100 years from now. My future plans get real fuzzy beyond the immediate future of my daughter and what she might have to deal with. But the future is a chain reaction. What we do today has a direct relation to what happens every day beyond this one. Instead of playing lip service to the future we hope for our children, we should put words to action now to ensure it.