21 September 2008

the awesome allure

of items that aren't in commercial production yet, and which I probably could not afford if they were. But cool!

I rode only half my normal distance on Friday, and about two-thirds of it on Saturday. On Friday, at the conclusion of a week in which I worked many hours, and had only one lunch break, I went out back to get a piece of equipment and noticed that my rear tire was flat. Three little letters would express my reaction to that, and I'll leave you to guess which three. I don't carry a frame pump (yeah, I probably should), and fixing it on the spot would have been a pain anyway, so I called for backup. When we arrived home, I left the bike on the bike rack, using it as sort of a pseudo shop stand. I used the bathtub method to find the leak, patched it, and all was well with my biking world again. On Saturday, it just happened that my family passed me on my way home--they were returning from a soccer game. So they stopped to pick me up.

This slayed me.

11 September 2008

I am not a hockey mom.

And I am going to go ahead and blast Sarah Palin's parenting.

Not because of choices her children have made. I know full well that kids don't always behave in the ways their parents would like, and they deserve our continuing unconditional love and support anyway.

What I find utterly damning about Sarah Palin's parenting is that her position on abortion would potentially cause her own children to endure a pregnancy that was the result of rape or incest. (Citation here.) The lack of compassion present in that position is incomprehensible to me.

Here's a story: my own child was not the result of a neatly planned pregnancy. But I was (and am) married to a good man, in whom I could see the heart of a great dad, and I consciously *chose* to have a baby. And let me state this in unequivocal terms: it was the BEST, most joyous decision I ever made. The fact that it was a decision informs my parenting every day. This is the path I chose, and I have the responsibility to do everything in my power to make it worthwhile for all of us. I make mistakes--we all do. But I choose to do my best to show my kid that he is wanted and cherished, absolutely.

That's my story. Here's another one, abbreviated and incomplete, because it's not mine. In high school, I was friends with a girl. She was being raised by a single mom, and their finances were tight. Still, she found a way to get herself to college. At some point, she was still broke, she needed to get from point A to point B, and for whatever reason, hitchhiking was the option that she chose. She was picked up by a long-haul trucker, and he raped her. She got pregnant, and she had an abortion.

That story haunts me. She was someone I knew, and if I couldn't imagine myself in that position, not exactly, I could imagine her in that position. I could imagine her pain. I shudder at having to make a decision in that situation, and I cringe at the at the idea of a woman who believes she could make it for someone else. For her own daughters.

09 September 2008

By the way, I still support Barack Obama

and check out these awesome anti-theft bike stands (via Bike Hugger).

My two main parking locations are at home and at work. At home, I noose a cable to connect the frame and the front wheel, then take the remaining loop in the cable and attach it and the frame to one of the posts on the front porch. Which you could saw through, but if we were home, such shenanigans would wake us up, and if we weren't, the dog would have a full-blown fit. She's a love, but she can sound quite ferocious. At work, it's the same strategy, only I'm locking to some huge metal pipe that comes down the back wall. If I stop at the grocery, the bike gets locked to one of the cart corrals, and all the peripherals go in with me. (Which always confuses the checkers and baggers--yes, I KNOW there is stuff in the bottom of the bag (my pannier). Put the groceries in anyway!)

A friend emailed me this op piece on why Sarah Palin is scary, and not to be trifled with.

07 September 2008

Why I support Barack Obama

This is what I wrote when prompted in my profile at the campaign website.

Why I support Barack Obama: I support Barack Obama because I believe we need a President who believes in the American people--one who can inspire us to start believing in ourselves again. We need a national leader who is thoughtful, who can listen to a variety of viewpoints in a deep way, who can bring people together rather than drive them apart. I support Barack Obama because of his opposition to the war. I support him because he believes in diplomacy. I support him because I think the world he wants for his daughters is the world I want for my son--one in which the US is strong, but not arrogant; where we have a healthy economy that is not built on exploitation; where people are treated with dignity and respect without regard to gender, race, class or creed; where the environment is our treasure, not our plunder; where we try, and think, and work, and hope, and work some more.

(That's my main reason, above. Photo taken on the beach at Lincoln Park in October 2000, when he was 17 months old. Deluge followed very soon after the pix were taken.)

02 September 2008

90 Days

As of today, it has been three months since I last drove to work. Although I was on vacation for two weeks, so I am requiring myself to bike for an additional two weeks before I think about driving, and truly, I will go for as long as possible after that. I am also confident that I will be able to start biking earlier in the year next year. Although I was biking pretty regularly in April and May.

This morning was very chilly--maybe 40 or so. However, I recently purchased a fleece and cycling jacket combination from REI, and gloves from my local bike shop, and I've been fairly comfortable on those brisk mornings and in the windy afternoons. I also bought a Buff head scarf thing, which works incredibly well as both a helmet liner and a neck gaiter.

Proper clothing makes all the difference.