Thursday, March 22, 2012

Running With The Pack

Rolling in a pack. Man, it's such a cool feeling. It could just be you and a brother or sister, or it could be dozens riding to a run or a funeral. You get a real feeling of connection with your riding partners. It's hard to describe that to people who don't ride. It may just be impossible to understand until you experience it.

Hell, it can even translate into driving cars and trucks. I remember one time my ex and I were moving. A bunch of the brothers came over in their pickup trucks to help. I was leading the way to the new place in my car, and since we were all driving cages instead of riding, we got separated. However, when I signaled to exit the interstate, I looked in my mirror to make sure everybody saw me, and I'll be damned if every single one of those vehicles, separated by multiple cars, even, didn't move into the exit lane at the. Exact. Same. Time.

Every group, whether a club or just a bunch of friends who ride together a lot, develops a style, and the members of the group learn to almost read each others' thoughts. Gestures and a certain sign language develop that may not mean anything to anyone else, but can convey all kinds of things to the group.

I recently had a couple of experiences riding with brothers that brought home that telepathy that has developed within my own club. I was leaving a gathering and there was one brother who lived in the same direction as me, so of course we rode together. Now, I've never ridden one on one with this man before. We've both been in the same large pack, but never even in a small group together. Yet, when we pulled out onto the street, we fell into a certain rhythm. Hell, I think we were even shifting gears at the same time. You know you're synchronized when you can ride handlebar to handlebar with somebody for the first time and never feel nervous about it. He was riding on the left and I was on his right, and even when he needed to exit the interstate first, it was like we'd rehearsed the shift.

A couple weeks later, four of us had gone out of town and while we were on the highway on the way home, I realized that without even thinking about it, we'd fallen into riding positions that enabled those who needed to exit first to do so without disrupting the pack. The guy in the right rear had his exit first, then the guy in the left rear, etc. We never talked about it or planned it, or hell – even thought about it. We just subconsciously knew where to position ourselves.


It's such a good feeling; and those who refuse to ride in a group will just never know what they're missing.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kony 2012

See, here's the thing. “Raising awareness”, in and of itself, doesn't do anything. Nothing. You have to act. You have to do something more than re-blogging, clicking a “Share” button, or even putting up posters.

We've all been aware of cancer in its many forms for centuries. We're aware of spouse abuse, child abuse, drug abuse, self abuse. We're aware of HIV, HPV, ADD, ADHD, and the heartbreak of psoriasis. Our awareness hasn't made any of them go away, has it?

“But it's the least I can do.” Yup. Clicking your mouse and clacking your keyboard really is just about
the least you can do.

For one thing, the organization that's sponsoring the whole mess seems a bit fishy. Read this:

The US already has about 100 troops in Uganda to help. Kony has been indicted, and the free world is looking for him, he's just apparently good at evasion. Bin Laden was behind the worst ever attack on our country, and look how long it took us to find him. As for civil rights violations, yes – Kony is a sonofabitch and should die painfully. But what about North Korea's oppression of its people? That affects many more than Kony has the ability to. Realistically, which should be prioritized higher?

So, go ahead and reblog, “share”, retweet, and put up your posters, bumper stickers, and fliers. Just don't expect it to accomplish anything.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Everything Happens For A Reason

…. if “Because” counts as a reason.

People, face it: Sometimes shit just happens. Sometimes it’s bad shit. Awful shit. It doesn’t mean it’s part of God’s plan. He’s not testing you. He may not even be watching your channel at the time (yes, I think we are TV for God). Seriously - bad shit happens. Deal with it. Accept comfort when shit happens to you. Offer comfort to those who are experiencing the shit. But don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s part of some grand cosmic and/or divine scheme.

Man plans, and God laughs.

You may continue your regularly scheduled evening.

Thank you and good night.

"New Me" Progress Report - Month Two

Two months in. Plus a week or so. I'd procrastinate, if I ever got around to it. Anyway, time for a progress report. It's a mixed bag this month, folks, but mainly positive.

  • Social Media: Still chipping away at this one. I'm probably generally at the same level as last month, but I feel I'm making slow progress at reducing my time spent there. Still spending too much time in front of the TV, but The Other Half and I were talking about that the other day. We're both going to make an effort to reduce our TV watching. More time reading and (for me) writing.
  • Weight loss/Fitness: I can actually report good things here. I've lost around 10 pounds. Not great, I know - I'd like to lose at least another twenty, but it's progress. I've cut out almost all my workday snacking (aside from the occasional slip in willpower). I also finally motivated myself to fix the tire on my bicycle! I've only ridden a couple of times, and not at a level that I would consider a "workout", but anything burns more calories than riding the couch, right? Plus, every time, I was sore the next day, so I must have been working some muscles, eh?
  • More work done on the clutter. Got some books boxed up and we're putting them on Craig's List. Also, moved one bookcase (of three) upstairs to the bedroom to de-clutter the living room a bit. While we were at it, we moved the entertainment center and the coffee table to the garage to give Baby Girl more room to develop her burgeoning walking skills. Losing three major pieces of furniture from our small living room really opened it up. 
  • I've managed to keep a much more positive attitude at work, too. Sometimes it takes an exertion of willpower, but I'm hoping the "not hating" will become second nature soon.
  • Again, about the writing. With The Other Half also committing to less TV, I think it's going to be easier for me to motivate myself to write more. Knock on wood, cross fingers.
  • Drinking. Ah, that. Well, I think I really spoke too soon on that "resolution". I don't think there was a need to go a year. I had one night where I lost control, and I believe I over reacted to it. I went 60 days without a drop of alcohol, and no urges for it. I believe I proved to myself that I don't have a problem, and that's all I really needed to do. I've been drinking again for about a week, but not even every night. Judge if you want, but like I said, I only really need to answer to myself.
  • Also - one of my projects that I've had on the back burner for a long time is near completion. I'm waiting on parts, so to speak. I'll probably post about it once it's complete.

So, that's it for now. I'll hopefully find time for some bicycling and bring down my weight some more, and I'm pretty sure there will be many more posts here before it's time for the next monthly update.

Stay tuned.