Sunday, 28 October 2012

The reckonings... time to tally.

Oh here we go.

photo from The Times

The US Postal Service is in sooooo deep that  more than just their stamps are taking a licking.  They're going to have to go looking in every nook and cranny for cash now, and it doesn't take much genius to figure out whose door they're going to go a knock knock knocking upon first, does it? Nothing the man can do, though. He'd have to be richer than God to save them.  Show's over. The fat lady is in her dressing room, sipping champers.

Canada Post, on the other hand, has always been profitable, or at least it was until last year, when it locked out its employees whilst simultaneously investing many hundreds of millions of dollars in state-of-the-art processing plants clear across the country.  Sure, letter mail volume is down, and that's a good and inevitable thing, but with the advent of online shopping in the Ebay era,  parcel post volume is way, way up.  As the world's biggest consumers, Americans, are most certainly making good use of all those wonderful new opportunities to shop.  So why is the US Postal Service going the way of the dodo bird, then?  Is it a moral bankruptcy?  Is it another instance of institutionalized greed making a right proper mess of everything, or is it that it's just TOO SLOW?

Nothing a little EPO won't fix.I'm guessing they know some doctors who could help....

It's the case of The Disappearing Mail.  It's also a sign of the times

Some signs are more obvious than others.

Know what my favourite kind of sign is?  The kind that tells me I'm right.  Like when scientists "discover" the very same things I've been going on about for yonks.  I did a little happy dance when I saw the cover of this month's Flare magazine, with its caption:

O! Canada!  Orgasms for Health.

You heard it here first, Ladies and Gentlemen, though independent corroboration is always nice.

I love being right.  The article goes on to explain that women need good sex, not just any sex. I've always figured THAT was a human thing, not just a 'woman thing', but the scientist who conducted the research came to the conclusion that despite how beneficial sex is for all of us, a woman's body will choose no sex over bad sex. Um...

Ah Ha. 

Guys aren't wired the same way. 

Well, knowledge is power. Now we know what the problem is, we can solve it.  People simply need to be having BETTER sex, and plenty of it.  (Remember, it takes 10 000 hours to master a skill so be prepared to put some time and practice into it.) Oh yes.  And even though I may not remember what happened yesterday, that doesn't mean I fell off the turnip truck yesterday. I know where this conversation is going. Sooner or later you're going to say "Yes, babble, but we have overpopulation issues. We can't just go having tons of great sex and making babies all over the place."

Aaaaand what do you know? You're right.  We can't.  That's why teenage pregnancy rates are at an all time low across all ethnicities,  and why they are declining rapidly.  That's why US birth rates have hit an all time low, too. It might have something to do with how quickly male sperm counts are declining, don't you think?  Since 1940 they have fallen by half, and rather than alarm everyone by pointing out this fact to the world, the WHO has chosen instead to lower the benchmark "average" to reflect the new "normal." It really is a case of The Disappearing Male. This does not bode well for the survival of the human race.

What are we going to do?
Growing healthy bodies isn't exactly rocket science.  In fact, healthy is your body's natural state, and it's surprising just how good it is at healing, and being healthy.  The human body is capable of remarkable acts of healing. Just ask Lance, right?  I don't care how many pharmaceuticals it took, the fact that the man went from a critical situation where his very life hung in the balance, to being one of the most powerful endurance athletes the world has ever seen is a bloody miracle.

But bodies do that. They heal, even miraculously, sometimes. Specially if you give 'em a chance.

How do you do that?

Pretend you're the proud owner of  a great big pair of brass ones, and dare to change the way you look at things, that's what.  You were the first sperm to get inside the egg.  You're a winner.  Act like it. (Not my line, but it's good, isn't it? I'd attribute it, except I can't remember where it came from.)

Insert healthy lifestyle mantra here:
Ride your bike.  Laugh a lot.  Eat superfoods. Be kind. Touch people.  Make love - a lot... :)

Here, this might help a little - have a laugh over my film skillz.  Here's a short clip of a wee stretch of the seawall on the southern shore of False Creek, between the Burrard and the Granville St Bridges.  Why? Just cause it's gorgeous, and besides, it's nice to share...

Thank you for reading.
Ride long, ride hard, ride well;
be happy and safe
till we meet again.

PS - the USPS team owner has indeed stepped forward and asked for the return of $12 million.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Iona Beach, Sea Island

I was surprised to discover (but only because I have the memory of a large Koi) that I am quite fond of all sorts of people whom I've never met.  One of them kindly asked me to share more photos of places I ride. 

So OK.  Here you go!

This is Iona Beach, on Sea Island.  Every day is a shitstorm on Iona, if only because that long line stretching waaaaaay out into the water is Vancouver's sewage outfall..

This is one of my favourite local routes because it's a super cycle friendly, stress free ride. It's a little over 60 k or nearly 40 m when all is said and done. This is a perfect morning`s ride, because most of it is uninterrupted riding along painted bike routes, without much in the way of starts and stops, and it's mostly free from parked cars, too.  It`s the kind of thing Snob might call a bikecycle highway.  It`s a great place to test your limits, too. We rode it the day before Canadian Thanksgiving, right before the weather turned all mittenish on us.

I never could colour inside the lines.  We actually stayed on the road for the most part, and we didn't, in fact, swim the mighty Fraser, despite my inept tracings See that great throbbing blob of green half way along the route?  That's Pacific Spirit Regional Park, and there are miles and miles of trails inside.  I haven't personally shot any video, but here's something a bit retro for you to check out...

As you will often find in this town, the scenery was absolutely divine during our morning's adventures...

(This from the parking lot at Spanish Banks. The photo sucks, but you get the idea.)  It was a picture perfect day, anyway. 

The parking lot at Iona Beach.

Comfortably smug.

Pleasantly pumped.

I was babbling along as per usual this week, when suddenly there I was, out carousing and laughing myself silly very late into the night, burning the candle at both ends, etc.  It was brilliant. 

Now I can`t string a thought together, let alone a  proper sentence... 

back soon

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Shirley's Flower: just ass k?

I've been reflecting on something..  I probably shouldn't tell you this, though you know I will.  It's going to show you egggzactly what a silly muppet I am, but it can't be helped. I read somewhere that women tend to over-share on social media, and yep, guilty as charged, but this is special. 

Besides, it's nice to share.   

Ready?  K. Here goes:

This week I fell in love with a girl I've never met, and I had no idea I was even a lesbian!

She's so funny I laughed till my sides hurt.  If I was the kind of girl who wanted to marry girls, then this is definitely the girl I would marry, because DAYYYYYYYYYUM she's hot.

Meet my future wife in another life, the lovely, talented, and seriously fucking hilarious Ms Shirley Gnome:

This woman was meant to be shared, too.  (Headphones - NSFW! start at 1 min) Give it a click without a spare pair of underwear only if you dare. I dunno if people can climax from laughing, but if it's possible, Shirley will surely take you there. First thing I heard from her was "Oh I'd rather be having sex than singing this song,"  and it's such a catchy little tune that I found myself singing it for days on end... at work, in the shops, in the lift, riding my bike...

I'm here to testify that those ten little words have the power to dramatically change the dynamics in a room. 

Shirley's songs make an impression on people, to say the least. I'll remember that dirty little ditty for a looooooong time to come. I'll remember what she was wearing, too, when I saw her sing it - a t-shirt that proclaims

"I chose masturbation over breakfast." 

You see?  She's special! She's unexpectedly creative, bless her. Some people say she's crazy, but I think she's a blooming genius.  Mind you, I'm drawn to her, and she does make me feel normal, so it's possible she is mad after all...

Do you know why I love her?  Two things.  Thing One: laughter is the only thing I like more than sex and she make me laugh till my sides hurt, bless her. Did you know that laughter actually releases your sex hormones along with all sorts of other goodies?  No WONDER I always feel absolutely fabulous after I've listened to the lovely Ms Gnome. Thing Two: now I know I'm not the only sex-centric girl in the world. Heh Heh.  And where there are two of us, there must be more.  HA! I'm not alone! There are others out there, women just like me!  Shirley's ancestors aren't from the Dumbell galaxy like mine are, either, you can tell, cause unlike me, she's the complete package.  She's the perfect woman.  She's dead funny and she LOVES sex.
                                               She's a c*untry girl but she rocks.

Having studied her share of Shania Twain videos, the delightfully vulgar Shirley Gnome has come to realize that nothing sells country music quite as well as putting a little ass on display.

It doesn't bother me even a little bit that she can see me coming a mile off.  From her interview with the Georgia Straight, she says of some of her more "devoted" fans:

“Whatever I’m doing, they are liking it on a level that’s satisfying them deep inside,” Gnome continues. “Maybe it’s making a lot of crazy people feel normal.

Yep it is.

What if crazy is only crazy till the critical mass gets it?  Used to be if you believed that the world was round, you would be burned at the stake for heresy, and look at us now!  We've come so far!

Ahem. So far...

Well, you never know... maybe one day all presidential candidates will believe in evolution, and even come to understand the simple yet effective process of carbon dating, and maybe one day they won't be inclined to believe that the the Earth came into existence just a few thousand years ago and that the Garden of Eden happened in Missouri at that time. I guess if you can believe that, then you can believe anything. When Romney was growing up, Mormons didn't even acknowledge that black people had a soul. Can you imagine? No wonder he has no trouble believing that there is, "a longing for American leadership in the Middle East," 

Leadership?  That's what he's calling it, is it?

Look at us now.  We've come so far... wow.

What's madness?  What's genius?  Where do you draw the line?  Are you sure the line is even there? The BBC ran an article this week talking about how creativity is closely entwined with madness and how writers are particularly susceptible.  I can happily testify to the truth of that, too.

What's madness?  What's genius? It's usually clear, but in the end, who knows? I'm pretty familiar with the madness part of the equation and genius has it's own inner light, but sometimes it's a close call. That's when it helps to discover the "Why" of things.

Much more often than happens with cars, bikes are an outward expression of personal style, taste, and character.  Probably because cars are just that much more expensive, but for whatever reason, bikes are so often an example of the Hermetic Creed, the "As Within so Without" bit of it. So a bike like this makes me stop and take a second look for one good reason:

and this, another:

Why would someone saw off their top tube, and replace it with bamboo, only to turn around and weld a little tube on underneath it??I keep trying to figure out the why behind this little bit of bespoke madness, but it's way beyond me.  And I don't know if you can see it, but there are some crazy-assed springs attached to that saddle, front and back, too. As within...

Bikes, cars, buildings... Whoah!! What about the without of Frank Gehry's Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health?

Brilliant.  Genius. Harold Van Beek, on the other hand, you know, that jeweller in Iowa who somehow came across a fukload of guns which he's now handing out as gift bags with engagement rings?  Um... yeah, him.

I'm confused.  And WTF?! Why Why Why? What on Earth is the gun for, to sweet-talk her into saying yes? What's next? Guns within cereal boxes?

"Oh look, Dick, honey, little Randy found a pistol in his Rice Krispies!  Isn't that sweet?  It reminds me of the Colt Commander you used to propose to me!"

Guns were out for another reason this week.

This great, horny, protected beast was within gun sights before the conservation officers gave him a dressing down and shipped him away from all of his new-found lady-friends.  Seems he commandeered a herd of cattle and was busy getting busy, causing chaos along the way.  

Conservation officers have relocated a half-tonne bull elk to safer pastures after it became enamoured with local livestock near 100 Mile House, in central B.C.
The 500-kilogram elk — with a metre-high, six-point rack — had taken ownership of a herd of cattle, says 100 Mile Ranch manager Greg Messner.
'It's creating traffic jams on the highway'—Conservation officer James Zucchelli
"He spent some good quality time with a couple of the females," said Messner, with a laugh. "And kept the bull calves away with his big antlers."

What a rack. And what an unexpectedly creative elk. 
Crazy.  Like this bike...

This is the Locust bike which I found on the weburbanist. I wanted to share it with you cause the bottom photo looks like a mad little running man.

 Martin Amis called Romney a dog candidate on Day Six.   He said that Romney is unbelievably provincial, that he is the kind of American who really shouldn't ever be granted a passport, much less elected leader of the free world. 
It is pretty hard not to admit that he makes as ass of himself pretty much every time he stands upon the world stage.  How can you see anything other than a mad little running man, a puppet, a slave to the Republican Campaign Machine?  He said America isn't losing power on the global platform, but it's losing influence because of the oppositional republican congress which blocks him at every turn.
Do you get the feeling that Amis doesn't think highly of the Republican candidate?  He went on to say that there is a plutocratic coup in the works, via the stacking of lobbyists in Washington, though he didn't think it would succeed 'this time.'  I beg to differ.  It is succeeding beautifully, and it has been for years. It's happening there, and it and it's happening here, too, via omnibus budget bills and other fun and interesting things.
Where there's smoke there's fire. 

Which is why my favourite perspective on Shitstorm 2012 was Lewis Black's on The Daily Show. roughly:

I don't care that he doped, I care that he won't admit that he doped.  And just look at what it did for him!  He had cancer all over the place, and still he won a 2000 mile race seven years in a row. He gets twice the amount of oxygen from every breath as a healthy twenty year old. Twice as much! The question isn't "Did he dope?"  The question is "Why aren't we all doing it?"

Friday, 12 October 2012

Shitstorm 2012: Where do we go from here?

The difference between proficiency and mastery is ten thousand hours.  Being REALLY good at something isn't a function of your natural abilities, nor is it a question of the amount of money you spend on gear, and it's not the quality of coaching and instruction you receive over the years, either, though there is a lot to be said for good genetics and the power of working with others to achieve your goals.  Nope.  In the end, mastery is a function of time. It really is just like Grandma used to say:  practice makes perfect.

Which explains why I am so good at flicking the bean.


In Outliers, Malcom Gladwell argues that you have to have all three:  time, talent, and opportunity, in order to be stunningly successful in this world, and that may well be true, but if you simply want to be really really good at something, then be like Nike and just do it.  And do it and do it and do it again.

Be persistent.  Like a kid.  Ever noticed how determined a child can be when they really want something?  I hear it in my sleep, "Mum, can I have a puppy?"  Just like that! There it ... no wait... I'm awake. It's been this way every day for years now...  It would have been much less work to just get the damned puppy in the first place.  Its absence has been a dogged, persistent presence in this family for many a year now.

Sadly for you, dear reader, I am quite new to blogging, but don't worry.  I'm persistent, too. At this rate, you can expect to find a really good post right here in approximately seventeen years.  You might wonder what on Earth would possess me to undertake such a task when so many people already do it so well and I so clearly don't. That is a valid question.  I often ponder the very same thing.

You know who does it right, right?  Bike Snob.  He writes every day, like it's a real job, like a pro.  He's definitely put in his ten thousand hours, and really, he's said pretty much everything there is to say about bikes and the sorry lot that ride them in the five years or so he's been writing his blog, too. Plus, he's funny.  I love funny.  Everyone loves funny.  That's why it's better to get your news from Snobbers,  Mercer or Colbert instead of from CNN the CBC or the BBC.

Everywhere you look for news this week, everywhere you listen, everyone's going on about the USADA and its case against Lance Armstrong.  It's in your face. Bike Snob dubbed it Shitstorm 2012, and I thought he summed it up rather eloquently, thus:

Age of Innocence: Won't Somebody Think of the Children?

That's the consensus on the news, too, that everyone was doing it. Doping was institutionalized and systemic.  It was everywhere in pro racing at the time, and not only was it common practice on the US Postal team, but it was happening across the board.  I've heard it said time and time again that would be a messy bitch of a situation to try and find clean athletes to pass all of those Tour de France titles along to because everyone seems to agree that at that time, pro racing was rife with doping. Everyone was at it, but the US Postal Team did it best.  It was, according to the USADA "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen" and on top of that somehow we are all supposed to believe that Lance Armstrong was the mastermind orchestrating the whole issue.

Anything is possible, if you've got the time...

I vaguely remember the Montreal Olympics.  Everyone figured the Russians were doping, and then a few years later on it was the Germans.  Last summer in London there was a lot of speculation about exactly what happened to young Ye Shiwen that she suddenly metamorphosed from being a strong swimmer, an average Olympian, if you will, to setting an astonishing world record, and all in such a very short space of time.  From the Guardian:

The American John Leonard, executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, said the 16-year-old's performance was "suspicious" and said it brought back "a lot of awful memories" of the Irish swimmer Michelle Smith's race in the same event at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Smith, now Michelle de Bruin, was banned for four years in 1998 for tampering with a urine sample.

He called it disturbing.  For as long as I can remember, the question of doping has been a non-question, and the understanding that organised doping exists in organised sports is a great big fat McDuh. The USADA's reasoned decision points to organised doping all over the sport at the time Lance Armstrong was winning Tour de France titles.  No one is surprised.  Not many people would be surprised today, either, if they were to hear that Ye Shiwen's world record was anything other than the product of the very best medical technology available to the Chinese government, either, would they?

So now you see why I really must take my hat off to Lance Armstrong.  Not for the 'using of the dope' bit, because show me someone who is actually, really clean and I'll show you an alien. Not that, no.  I take my helmet off to him for being an evil genius mastermind on top of everything else he was doing.  Anyone who can be the ringleader of  "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen" all the while training and racing and fighting cancer and stuff, well, he's a renaissance man for the new millennium, that's what he is. It has to take at least fifteen thousand hours to master the art of 'ring-leading' the most sophisticated professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.  Maybe even twenty.  And remember, sport has seen a LOT of ' sophisticated doping programs' over the years.

And now that the code of silence has been shattered, everyone is confessing for the future of the sport. Bike Snob goes on to say "I wish they'd stop short of invoking the prospect of hope for the next generation."  And holy fuck he hit the nail on the head with that one, because let's be serious for a minute, shall we?  We're going to have to tread very carefully here.  Children are intuitive.  They're curious, and they notice stuff.  That's why if we want to raise them to be good little hypocrites citizens who play well with others, we can't make any of the anomalies too obvious.  Please DON'T DRAW THE CHILDREN'S ATTENTION TO THE ANOMALIES.

Don't worry, though.  We can talk about it on here, because according to Google's Adsense, this is not a family friendly blog, and therefore it will never be festooned and adorned with pretty blinking knog lights like Bike Snob's is.  Plus, I suck at taking pictures, (see below) so there really isn't anything to draw the children in.

You see?  It's ugly and boring. Children will never read this, so lets get down to it.

Human beings love drugs.  We always have and we always will. Every culture has its pharmacopia, though not all drugs are created equal.

We push drugs on our children from an early age, and we never ever let up.  You want a 'for example?'    Parents are strongly encouraged to have their children vaccinated at an early age, and when the baby is injected with a drug, the parents are then further encouraged to give their little babies tylenol, or paracetamol, which can damage the liver.  Parents are not offered basic nursing techniques, those simple, safe solutions which bring down a fever. How often are new parents reminded that a low grade fever serves a useful purpose in and of itself?  It's not that there isn't a place for a pharmaceutical advantage, it's just that our 'health care' system always goes there first. This is a drug culture.

Actually, drugs are the least of our problems.  Once you're aware of all the hormones and antibiotics and toxins in the global food supply, then you have to look at pesticides.  Oh, and remember it's easy to transmit nasty little critters like ecoli and salmonella in food, too, so maybe you might just want to add a little IRRADIATION to it, HMM?  Then, when you go on and think about how genetically engineered foods are seriously toxic, once you understand what all of those hormone mimicking, endocrine disrupting neuro-toxins in many household cleaners, perfumes, personal care products and even meats do to your body, and once you are aware of all of the other environmental hazards you encounter every single day.... once you consider ALL of THAT, what then? What can you do?

Well, once you've come to that lonely, scared place, then the only thing do is sit down and have a great meal, a drink, and a laugh with your friends.

That there is organised doping in sport is way beyond obvious.  The whole planet is all doped up on so many levels it's crazy.  It's the great big pink elephant in the middle of the room which no one wants to acknowledge.  And it's insidious, too.  Everyone gets behind the whole 'run/ride/walk/shave/don't shave for the cure' business.  People are all  "Oh, I don't mind the fundraising. After all, it's for a good cause..."

Is it?

Please.  If there is any part of Mr Armstrong's legacy which I really question, it's his tremendous contribution to the pharmaceutical industry.  As he is the poster boy for science's pharmaceutical triumph over cancer's nasty claws, though, I suppose there is a bit of poetic justice in it...

And yet, it's all backwards.  In twenty seven years, no one has ever died from vitamins.  In the same period  three million deaths have been directly attributed to prescription drugs.  Everyone is quick to ensure that their children take no more than one multi-vitamin a day.  There are so many good, healthy, natural ways to cure what ails us, and yet our very laws themselves promote drug use.

You think I'm exaggerating?  I have one symptom which must be treated in order for me to have a good quality of life.  There are two alternatives for treating the symptom, one a pharmaceutical drug, the other a strong dose of  a natural mineral supplement.  The prescription alternative masks the symptoms but leaves me feeling worse, and has a load of side effects, whereas the vitamin benefits and supports my general health in a few different ways, and leaves me feeling better overall.  I can claim the prescription, pharmaceutical alternative on my tax return as a valid medical expense, but I can't claim the vitamin supplement, even if when my doctor prescribes it.

But what no one is prescribing, what no one is insisting upon, are the best, all natural, simple solutions to general health and well being. Children are always learning, always absorbing.  Mum's suffering from depression, and what do they witness?  Does the doctor tell mum that she must exercise an hour a day to boost her brain's own happy drugs and reverse the progression of the disease?  Ah, no. Mum's doctor prescribes drugs.  Depression is a part of life at one time or another for many people, and more and more so as our world makes less and less sense.  In the best of all worlds, when children are touched by such a thing, they should also be witness to the things which cure..

Living foods in the right combinations are the very best medicine. Well, that, combined with movement, meditation, laughter and lots of good healthy loving, of course. Food is the key to vedic healing, though, food and medicinal herbs and spices.  The food guides as we know them today have more to do with commercial interests than they do with health and well being.  A real food pyramid is green on the bottom and it doesn't include growth hormones, pesticides, or genetically modified ingredients.  If children spend ten thousand hours witnessing healthy lifestyles as a response to sickness and disease, they won't be so quick to pop a pill when life gets uncomfortable.

As a race, the way we care for ourselves and our planet is shocking.  It's horrifying, even, once you notice the enormity of our mistakes.  Did Lance use banned substances?  I wasn't there so I can't say, but it surely appears that way.  Was he singularly to blame for systemic doping across the board?  C'mon.  Maybe he had the time, talent and opportunity to be at the front of the team which did the best job of doping, and maybe he was the man who benefited most from an institutionalized policy of looking the other way, but he would have had to have been a bona fide super hero to be wholly responsible for that whole mess.

On Wednesday, Big Johnny on Dirty Cyclist said:

Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest…

I got a text message this morning that read, “Today is the crucifixion of Cancer Jesus.”

It does seem a bit like he has been offered up on the alter of sacrifice to our drug-addled, highly hypocritical ways. Cheating in sport is as old as sport itself, as we offer enormous reward to our winning heroes.  To the victor go the spoils, and all that.  The science of sports medicine is so advanced, so evolved, that it takes a real world class team to pull off the kind of organised doping that was occurring in cycling at that time, and surely at this moment, there is another team, either in this sport, or in another, which is working hard on the latest, greatest new way to win.  I'm waiting on genetically modified athletes, myself.

All we have is time, and all we ever do is spend it. How we spend it says everything about who we are.   (You know how I spend mine!) In the end Lance Armstrong is the one who has to live with his choices, just as I have to live with mine. And what of the children?  What of the future of sport, and the future of humanity itself? For the children, it's time we got honest with ourselves.  Lance was a product of his time, just as our children will be the product of theirs.  What we model now, the things we teach them, and the world we create for them will be a reflection of the kinds of attitudes we hold today.

Which is a little frightening...

I can accept that drugs are a part of the modern world, though I am careful which ones I indulge in these days.  I would like to be known as the pusher of the greatest drug known to man, and that's the real reason I write this.  Oxytocin.  The love drug.  It's a hormone that's responsible for the romantic attachment between couples, for sexual arousal and emotional bonding between sexual partners and even between for bonding between pets and their owners, and it's the one chemical which will truly make this world a better place. Hug your kid. Cuddle the cat.  Make love to your spouse and this world will actually be be a better place.


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Ode to a friend.

Would that I a poem could write

about this life upon a bike

the vistas panoramic seen

a myriad adventure sweet and keen.

Over hill and over dale

it’s always fun it never fails.

Every day I ride for miles

it makes me laugh

it makes me smile.

O bicycle bicycle

friend of mine

on you this life is sweet

and fine.

You bring me joy

you bring me health

the most important

form of wealth.

I salute you as my friend

upon my love you can depend.

Your bits and bobs I will maintain

that we can always ride again.

Many treasures have I found

as I spin these wheels around.

Some come in the form of friend

some in youth relived again.

If you’re wise

then you like me

will climb

upon your bike and see

the many wonders to behold.

Be on your way
Be brave be bold.

Life is but a mystery.

On your bike

you’re fast you’re free.

As you ride you will see

just how good this world can be.

Thank you!

(This first appeared as a comment on Fat Cyclist's Free Verse Friday.)

Friday, 5 October 2012

A glimmer of hope: truth is stranger than Seuss.

One bike two bikes

 red bike

 blue bike..

Some are old and some are new and some are very very cool.

I hate it when people ask who my favourite author is, because if I reply truthfully, it speaks to my level of maturity. It speaks volumes.  It's embarrassing.   Honesty is something I've loved and admired my whole life.  Truth is a noble pursuit.  I  always aspire to be honest - with myself and others - but it's an uphill battle. I am a great liar. I own it.  I'm a natural. Born to it, you might say, and steeped in it. When I was in grade school in the seventies we lived in a campus residence while my parents attended law school.  The things I saw...! :O

It was enough to warp any young mind.

It was Mad, man.

Lying does come in handy on occasion.  Like occasionally at Christmas... "Oh!  It's beautiful!! Thank you! I LOVE it." It's probably ok to lie when a friend asks your opinion of their mangy new boyfriend, too. Other than that, lying is a very bad idea so I do try my best to be honest despite my natural inclinations.

Which is why if you ask me who my favourite author is, I'll resist the urge to reply "James Joyce," and will sheepishly admit that though it's a close contest between Tolkien, Rowling and Seuss, Seuss wins every time, and not just because he writes for babies, either.  He's my kind of king of the mountain.  He's just like Willie the Shake, with his uncanny insight into the human condition tucked neatly into catchy words, rhythms and rhymes.

He sure has my number. On Mulberry Street, stern ol' Dad might as well be talking to me when he tells the kid to

"Stop telling such outlandish tales.  Stop turning minnows into whales."

 "Dooooooo de doo," (me avoiding eye contact)

Everyone gets Green Eggs and Ham.
"You do not like them, so you say. Try them, try them, and you may.  Try them and you may, I say..."
Ride your bike for thirty days and you will simply be amazed at how hot and fit you are. 
You won't even want your car. 
But I'm a liar, don't trust me...
Try it for yourself and see.

There are eleven years between things one and two in my branch of this large, twisted, blended and extended family tree, so I've read Seuss' masterpiece, the Lorax, enough times now that I know it off by heart. Which is really saying something because most days I have the memory of a small Koi. When you're stressed you regress, did you know?  (My therapist said so and she's smart.) If you ask me on a bad day, I may succumb to my weakness and wax lyrical about Ulysses.  Don't take it personally. Truth is a beautiful thing, so I usually come clean sooner or later.Typically sooner than later, in fact.  You can expect to wait three minutes or so - just enough time for me to forget the lie.

Truth is like fine art - it's the gold nugget left in the bottom of the pan once time has washed the dross away.

Beauty is truth and Seuss speaks it. He speaks to me, too. His ability to infuse a kid's book with potent messages in a delightfully cheerful fashion is absolute genius.

We like our bike.  It is made for three.  Our Mike sits up in back, you see.  We like our Mike and this is why:  Mike does all the work when the hills get high.

If you've got a great looooooooooooong way to go every day, the electric assist makes a little sense, but don't hum and haw and sit there on the fence.
                     Hop on your bike. Go for a ride.  Before too long you'll feel fanfuckingtastic deep down inside.

(Do you like my gratuitous skin shot? I call it Mike, and not because it's blurry.  Mikes aren't blurry, unless you've had a lot of beer.  I call it Mike because those are the legs of Mike who hauled two boys up and over the hills valleys and mountains of coastal BC, over the span of two decades, first in trailers and then on trail bikes.  I like Mike. I like bikes. And I like Mike in those shoes.  Mike rides a bike I like in those pretty shoes.)

Yertle the Turtle is about equality, fairness, and the power of protest. Poor squished Mack at the bottom of the pile has the temerity to stand up to the king. Everybody else is just blindly accepting their place in the pile, but Mac, who has more vision than all the other turtles combined, including the turtle Yertle, shares a new, true blue vision with everyone else. He has an idea.  He speaks up. And things change.

 "There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come."Bucky Fuller

Horton is all about integrity.  If only our elected politicians lived by his guiding principle: "I meant what I said and I said what I meant..."  the world would be a very different place.  Actually, it would help if our elected officials had any principles at all.  You know it's election season when politicians start making wild promises to the electorate.  Romney is promising to lower taxes twenty percent!  Does that mean that he will be eligible for a six percent refund on all of his investment accounts?

Gordon Campbell had to depart suddenly, and the first thing BC's interim premier, Christy Clark did was to get rid of Air Care.  Playing nice. That's the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia's emission screening test which your car has to pass before it can be insured.  Of course, everybody is celebrating, because Air Care is a great big, ginormous, expensive, time-consuming and annoying pain in the posterior. Fair enough, but that stuff spewing from tailpipes is truly noxious, and anything that reduces the amount of it in the air is a good thing.

"Let me say a few words about Gluppity Glup," says the Lorax.  "Yeah, like he says," says the girl who plays in traffic. "Gluppity Glup."

They're famous last words, too, uttered moments before the last truffula tree fell.  You've gotta love Seuss.  The Lorax is a furry little David Suzuki warning humanity of the error of its ways. Sadly, both are equally ineffective against the rolling swell of our insatiable appetites. Lily Allen said:  "I am a weapon of massive consumption. It's not my fault, it's how I'm programmed to function." Aren't we all?

Necessity is the mother of invention because we're not going to do anything meaningful until we absolutely have to, are we?  That's why we are going to risk our greatest national treasure, our clean water, for Hexxuss of the tar sands. (Not surprisingly, I am also a fan of Fern Gulley.)

Do or Die Time.

Saudi Arabia may become a net oil importer by 2030 says Citigroup. Then what?!  That's not very far off. If that doesn't scare the bejeezus out of you, then we live on different planets.  And  HELLooOOOOoo?  Can you think of a single place better suited to harnessing solar energy? A smart Saudi prince would be on a jet plane miles ahead of the bandwagon.  He'd be setting up enormous solar capture systems so he can sell sunshine to London.

 sun sneeze

                                          (humble apologies... no photo credit)
                           Do solar panels capture more energy during a solar flare??

 "Nothing is going to get better, it's not, until someone like you cares an whole awful lot." 
It doesn't have to be this way.  We shape our world in many ways, in what we do and what we say, in what we buy and how we play.  There are simple solutions close at hand which make it easy to enjoy this land.

Like what?  Well, like the vertical gardens Easy Park is installing on the top floor of one of their parking lots - and you'd be surprised at the amount of food you can grow in a vertical space.  It makes me happy that men like Mr Chris Ng of Alterrus are here, making the world a better place.  (Dear Higgs, I would a smaller version of this, with fish in the water tanks.  The fish poo will feed the plants and the fish will feed me.)

It's a Jesus-moment type of advance in the progress of civilization.  A miracle of modern technology, a fishes and loaves feeding of the masses.  Like Dr Seuss' work, its beauty lies in it's sweet simplicity. 

Like a bike!  And the reason this garden will be so?
Thanks largely to Mikes and others on Bikes,
this is the best way for Easypark to go.

Can you believe it?  Sometimes the truth is better than Seuss.

My brain is fried, my eyes screwed tight,
and now it's time to say goodnight.