Friday, September 28, 2007

wind on the water...

...carry me home? Not so much.

More anxiety.

The weather is supposed to get ugly on Sunday. Lots of rain and a huge northeast wind. It just so happens we're riding along the beach on the way home from Daytona, so that northeast wind will come right off the water, with nothing to break it, and smack us right in the face the whole way home. It'll be OK though, because if I work up a huge sweat fighting that wind, we have the rain that'll cool me down. Also, rain hurts when you're going 20 miles an hour, but since it'll be so windy, we'll probably only be doing it'll hurt less. It's all good.

Then again..the weather dudes have been wrong before....lots of times.

I so want to do this ride. I'm very psyched, and very anxious.

In somewhat related news, the youngster is now on the Cross Country team at school. Apparently they didn't have enough runners, and a friend of his on the team recruited him. He talked to the coach, and ran with the team yesterday. I asked him how it went. He just shrugged and said, "OK." So I tried to prod. I mean, yeah, the kid can run, but he hasn't been running a lot lately. He could be in better shape. All I got was an annoyed, "Yes Dad. I kept up with all them, easy." Then in the '"oh, please" attitude voice, "Dad, it's what I do." He's short a physical though, so the wife is going to try to get him in one of those walk in clinics tomorrow, before Daytona. The coach let him run with the team yesterday, I guess just to see if it was worth keeping him. Now he said he can't run with them again until he gets that physical done. In any case, it ought to get him in cycling shape, and cycling ought to help with the running.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 27, 2007

getting prepped

I'm a bad procrastinator with trips. I don't get ready ahead of time. I pack the night before...usually late the night before, or the morning of. Invaribly, I leave something behind that I would have remembered if I was just smart enough to prepare a little earlier, and left time to double check things.

This MS Ride thing is different though. It's a journey into the unknown, and as such, has interrupted the normal routine. Granted, anxiety over all that probably is the driving force, but I have a pile of stuff ready to go into a bag, just laying in wait in our bedroom. I have clothes to wear when we're there, swimming trunks to dive in the pool when I arrive, all hot and sweaty, bike clothes for the next day, my cholesterol/blood pressure medications, pain reliever, crap they gave us in the little goodie bag that might come in handy. I'm even bringing the stuff I don't know what to do with, or as the youngster said (through laughter) when going through the goodie bag from the check-in day, in search of booty, "Oh look, butt Dad, you can keep that." Sure enough, there was a little packet (looked like the condiments packet from a fast food place) with a cartoon picture of a butt with lightning bolts surrounding it. It wasn't the booty he was looking for though, so I could keep it. I've never had a use for the so-called butt cream, but I'm bringing it along, just in case.

According to Mr. My Doctor, (yes, the one who still wants me to lose weight,) if I keep this up and actually do lose a lot of weight, the blood pressure medication may exit my daily routine. Well, I'm close to the weight he wants me at, and still going down. Maybe next year, that'll be one less thing in the pile. If I get through the weekend and still have no use for butt cream, maybe that'll be two things.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

some things just work out right

This, is priceless. Sometimes justice jumps up and smacks people dead in the face.


T minus three days and counting

...and that's about all I have to say today. Yeah, I'm more than a little anxious.

We are already talking next year, though. Today I'll probably order the youngster's bike. I'm not sure how long it'll take to get here, but he'll start training on it when it does. We have an agreement. He can use it only for training rides with me until Christmas...because it's a Christmas present. After Christmas, he can ride it wherever he wants. Still, we'll keep his mountain bike, and I'll tell him it's best to use that riding around the neighborhood. If he's going to be riding to people's houses and dropping it in the front yard, I'd rather it be that bike.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Matt Jones

God, it pains me to say this.

I watched incredulously when the Jaguars made Matt Jones their first pick in the 2005 draft. I sat there and said...why?? Then I saw him in his first preseason, and saw why. The guy made incredible plays. He was tall and fast, and it was like a highlight reel when he touched the ball. I was impressed. I got so impressed I went out and bought the #18 jersey, and wore it with pride. Hope was springing eternal.

Then came the first season. There were a few wrinkles thrown in the offense to take advantage of his passing, as well as receiving capability, and I thought I saw the future unfolding. This guy was gonna be a real difference maker. Hope was a limitless shooting star.

Then the weaknesses started to appear. The guy didn't go over the middle much. It looked like he was afraid of getting hit. If a cornerback challenged him, he'd back off. Hope was showing a few signs of a tarnish.

Now we're in his third year and the weakness is glaring. The speed only shows up if he can run a straight line and nobody touches him. Yeah, like that happens in the NFL. He doesn't like to get hit. He doesn't seem to get upset when his performance is less than what situations call for. He doesn't seem to care much. Asked in a post game press conference about his performance, coach Del Rio said he was disappointed...and rightly so. He should be. They both should be, but only one seems to be. Hope is being trampled into the dirt, and showing no signs of fighting back.

Jones' agent spoke about the comments. He said he'd like to see his client go someplace else...someplace where he can play...someplace where he'd be appreciated. Where? Where is there a better opportunity? Is there any team in the league more starved for a star reciever than the Jaguars? Is there any place more willing to give anybody a chance to rise up and be the go-to guy? Is there any team with a more mediocre group playing wide reciever, where it would be easier for a guy to stand out if he was just waiting on a chance to show greatness? There's no better place where a guy with the ability to get separation, could...well...get separation. This is his perfect situation...a place to be da man, if that damn skirt wasn't in the way. If you can't stand out in the group you're in now, where will you?

God, it pains me to say it, but Matt Jones is a wuss....and I own his jersey. I'm ready to start using it to clean my bike.

One Two Three're still stuck in my head....


Monday, September 24, 2007

one two three four, tell me that you love me more

Not quite how I drew the weekend up, but it worked.....

Friday night we went shopping. The youngster needed a new backpack and I needed new sneakers (the old ones were coming apart...might have something to do with wearing them for more than an occasional walk), so off we went. My family and I have very different concepts of shopping. My concept is, get in, get what you came for, get out. I don't shop. I buy. The wife and This is a kid who asked me to take him to the drug store to pick up a new backpack, as if anything reasonable would do. Little did I know the rules would change once we turned it into a shopping trip. We went to the St. Augustine Outlet Mall, which any of you who may have passed this way on I-95 have seen. We were in and out of the Nike Outlet store with sneakers in under ten minutes. The backpack, however, was another story. All of a sudden, the possibilities were endless. "Yeah, it's OK, but I want to see what they have in the other stores."


We came here to find it. We found it. Buy it. Let's get the hell out!

But alas...we shopped. In the end, he found something he liked better, so OK....I guess.

Got up Saturday for my last training ride before this weekend. Yes, Saturday it all happens. That in itself is an eye opener. I've grown accustomed to saying, "It's in two months" or "It's in three weeks. All of a sudden I'm assigning it a week day name. It's Saturday. Scary.

Anyway, I got up. Got ready. Pulled the bike out and.....flat tire. I could have fixed it and gone on, but I didn't. Instead, I shrugged my shoulders, proclaimed myself ready, and did yard work (which needed to be done anyway) and took it to the bike shop. While there, I told them of the youngster's hope of riding the MS ride with me next year, and wanted an idea of what it would cost me to put him on a decent road bike, but nothing too expensive. He'll probably outgrow the thing in a few years, so I don't want to go too crazy. I just want something he can train on and ride something like the MS ride for maybe...two years. They gave me some numbers, but apparently it's "model year closeout" time for bikes, just like cars. The new ones are on the way and they're trying to get rid of old ones. If there was a bike frame his size in the closeout stuff....all of a sudden I found myself in one of those TV commercials.."but if you act now...", when I really don't want to act now. They had a bike that fits the criteria in their inventory in the computer (it was at a different store), but the inventory hadn't been updated since last they didn't know if it was really still available. They'll know today. So, if it's still out there, we're acting now, in order to save a few hundred dollars. Still, the bike will sit 'til Christmas. We've talked about it and decided it'll be the huge Christmas present. (Update from later...the "if you act now" bike was gone, so we have time to consider our options.)

The other MS Ride update...we (all my support, which is a lot of you, and me) crossed the $3000 mark in funds raised this weekend. Wooooo Hoooooo!

The Jaguars...went to Denver and absolutely dominated the Denver Broncos. They didn't just win. They physically beat the Broncos. Still, the fan base isn't happy. Yes, there were mistakes made. Yes, the victory could have been more lopsided. Still, people, the Jaguars won on the road in Denver. Be happy, dammit.

The i-pod nano commercial song by Feist...can't get that sucker out of my head, and while I think it's cute and catchy, it's driving me crazy.....

Ooooooo, uh oh....

Labels: ,

Friday, September 21, 2007

why does it matter?

The whiners at work, led by the liberal over the cubicle wall, are at it again.

The large boss's secretary (excuse me, administrative assistant) sent out an e-mail this morning. It was pretty much a forward from someone else. A local man was in a motorcycle accident and died. He left a wife and kids, age 15, 13 and 6 with no life insurance. They are having an estate sale this weekend because they have no cash. The e-mail was basically saying, if you are so inclined, the estate sale is at such-and-such a place and time. There was a link to a website where you can see the stuff.

They went to the auctioneer's website and saw....very nice stuff. They live in Ponte Vedra, which is well known as a more affluent part of the greater J'ville area. So they're all up in arms. Aren't there better causes to be supporting than this once wealthy family, now trying to sell a Porsche, and a boat, and whatever, so they can keep their house on the intracoastal waterway?

Well, yeah, maybe. Well, yeah, of course there are. There are starving kids in Africa. There are homeless people in every city in America. There are plenty of more worthy causes....but so what? People pick who they can or want to help. They don't all pick the causes I like, and I don't always pick what they like. No matter what, we won't solve all the world's problems. This woman is cash strapped and is selling off a bunch of nice stuff. If you want to go and help her...go. If you don't, stay home. Why is there a sense of outrage? Why are you surprised that I'm not outraged (and they are surprised)? Why do you care what she does or doesn't have? Why does it matter? Does it affect your life in any way?

People who spend half their life looking over the fence at what other people have in envy....waste half their life.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Leftwich finds a job

I'm glad to see Byron Leftwich playing ball for the Atlanta Falcons. He had to switch numbers though. He was number 7 in J'ville, but that number is already taken in one Ron Mexico, so he'll wear number 4. Even if it became available though, I can't see that being a very popular number on a Falcons jersey...for a very long time.

What I find a little humorous is he was cut from a team where the offensive line and receiving corps aren't particularly strong and the quarterback needs to get rid of the ball quickly, which is an issue for Byron because he's not very mobile, and has this huge wind up in his mechanics. So he takes a job in Atlanta....where the offensive line and receivers are questionable...and they use a west coast offense that requires the quarterback to get rid of the ball quickly...and....why would it be any different this time?


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

civil liberties lawyers, pissing me off once again

I was watching the news last night, and they were talking about health care. The topic was how companies are dealing with the rising cost of health care and incentives to get people to make healthier choices. They talked about bonuses for people who lose weight and companies who won't pay for injuries from an auto accident if the employee involved wasn't wearing a seat belt.

Then some civil liberties lawyer objects, saying a company has no business infringing on a person's life and making them do things when they aren't in the workplace.

I'm sorry, Mr. Lawyer, but nobody's making anyone do anything. A person is given a choice, and they have the freedom to make it. They can choose to wear a seat belt and, if they get in an accident, the company that employs them will help cover medical expenses, OR they can choose to not wear a seat belt and, if they get in an accident, bear the cost themselves. They have the freedom to be idiots. Nobody has removed that.

The same lawyer discussed the 'censorship' of Sally Field at the emmys, where they bleeped out, or edited out, or whatever, her comments about the war. (Sorry, the emmys aren't 'must see TV' for me, so I wasn't watching.) He called it 'disturbing', and an infringement on her first ammendment rights. What a crock! No it isn't! She's free to say whatever she pleases, and she did. The network is free to broadcast whatever they please, too...and it may not be everything you say. Just because you have the right to say something, doesn't mean you have the right to use someone elses podium to take that message across the country. The secret police didn't show up and beat her to a pulp. Sally Field isn't in jail today for making her comments. That's the kind of shit that happens when your first ammendment rights disappear, but it didn't. Sally's free to say whatever she wants. That doesn't mean anyone is obliged to propagate her message into my home.

...and people wonder why I dislike lawyers....many of whom become politicians...and why I think the last people who should be meddling in things like health care are politicians....go figure


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the road to Daytona is paved with good intentions

So I went to the check-in thing, and arrived home with my booty, and the youngster is immediately all over it. What free stuff did Dad get, and what can I abscond with? He bypassed the team jersey, because he knew I needed that. He jumped on a small stuffed toy, shaped like a jalapeƱo pepper with a mexican hat on. I don't know the significance, but it was in the bag o' stuff. Then he grabbed the MS Bike Ride jersey, and asked if he could open the clear plastic bag that held it. I said sure, so he tore into it, unzipped the front and put it on...and was pretty much swimming in's a large. It actually fit him like a loose t-shirt, but it's supposed to be pretty tight.

"It's not too big, is it?"


"No it's not. I can wear it."

"No buddy, it's supposed to fit very snug. But tell me, why do you want it?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you can't wear it to school. It's not exactly something you'd wear around the neighborhood. What would you do with it if it actually fit you?"

"I'm going with you next year. I want to ride in this thing."

Oh reeeeaaalllly. I guess we'll see over the next 6 months how much he really wants to do that. If he does, we'll make it happen, but it's more work than he thinks it is...or more work than I think he thinks it is. Maybe he'll prove me wrong. I actually hope he does. If he really decides to do's a no brainer. We're both riding next year.


and it gets closer

The check-in thing for the MS Bike Ride was a breeze. I walked in, handed them my little envelope of the contributions I collected that they didn't already have. They handed me my team t-shirt and jersey, and a bag with another t-shirt and jersey and a bunch of other stuff, most important of which (I think) is a little yellow armband with my rider number on it. I was done in under 2 minutes.

I stayed and talked to some of the other team members for a few. Most have done this thing before. One guy I've known for a long time (his wife, who is one of the team captains, worked with me in my previous job, and she does now) did it last year. Last year he trained a lot, kinda like I am this year. This year he's convinced - if you can ride 10 miles at a shot, you're ready. I'm not ready to go there. I have a feeling the truth lies somewhere in between what I'm doing and what he's doing, and I'll be more than ready. He's going to be in serious pain. I said, "See you in two weeks." He looked surprised. He asked his wife, "What happens in two weeks?"

"That's the weekend of the ride, Honey."

"Oh shit."


Monday, September 17, 2007

I think we're ready

Saturday morning - 65.51 miles on the bike in somewhere between 3 and a half and 4 hours, and it felt good. I'm pretty much declaring myself ready to do this thing, even though I still won't be sure until I really do it. Less than two weeks to go.
Friday, the company had a huge deal to 'unveil' our ride jersey. The guy in the wheelchair is my golf instructor. He was a scratch golfer before he got MS. I've worked with him for the last 10 years and watched his condition slowly deteriorate. He used to walk everywhere when I met him a decade ago. Now that doesn't happen, and it really brings home the reason why this ride exists. They presented him with the framed version of what we'll be sporting. I would be in the back on the right. There are 57 of us on our team. I don't know where the rest of them were.
Tonight is pre-check-in. I'm not sure what that means, procedure-wise. All I know is I bring my envelope with money I've collected that hasn't been turned in already, and they give me a rider number armband, a t-shirt or two and my team jersey (like the one in the frame). Every day that it gets closer, the reality of it all hits closer to home. Yes, I've been working on it since March. but I'm really going to do this thing.
One sexist side note. I was talking to a neighbor about the ride, and he asked if any women were riding. The question struck me at the time, but I said, "Oh sure...lots of women are." Then Saturday I got my hair cut (you can see I'm looking reall shaggy in the picture), and the woman cutting it asked what I did on my Saturday, so I told her I rode 65 miles, which launched us into a cycling discussion in which she said, she and a girlfriend talked about starting to do serious cycling, but for all the wrong reasons. They wanted to do it to meet men. That's when I started really thinking. Both co-captains of the team I'm on are women. Over a third of the riders on our team are women. Where'd the impression come from that this is a guy thing? Anybody can ride a bike.


Friday, September 14, 2007

ironic things that make me laugh

I'm driving to work today and I have this car in front of me with two bumper stickers. They read:

Right Wing Radio: The Voice of Satan

Keep Abortion Legal

A quick note...when you see a car that has bumper stickers plastered all over it, isn't it always a liberal? Conservative people, for the most part (there are always exceptions) don't wear their heart on their bumper. Whenever I see a car with the back end covered in stickers, it's a pretty safe bet none of them say "It's a Child, Not a Choice." I'm getting myself way off topic though.

So I see the above combination, and I'm thinking (yes, it did make me think)...I haven't heard right wing radio in a very long time. Something called a job gets in my way, and after I finish with my job, I have plenty of other things to do. I don't know what right wing radio sounds like any more, but I doubt it's "Your mother sucks cocks in hell" a la The Exorcist. In any case, just because you disagree with a viewpint, doesn't make it the voice of the devil, yet here we have a very religious reference being made in a condemnation of somebody doing nothing more than talking.

In the next breath, you advocate the killing of millions of innocent babies, and hope to continue doing so.

Yet your reference for Satan lies....where? Don't talk to me about other people trying to burden you with their morality. What a crock.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

My wake up call on Byron Leftwich

OK, I have to admit, my myopic view is radically different that what the people who evaluate talent in the NFL must see. I thought the guy could be a very good quarterback. I thought he could take the Jaguars places this year, and was shocked when the cut him.

It speaks volumes though, when the Seattle Seahawks would rather trade with the Cleveland Browns, giving them a draft choice for Charlie Frye, rather than pick up Byron with no strings attached.


The cheatin' Patriots

So the New England Patriots finally got caught doing something it was common knowledge around the league that they did. Cheat.

I understand that what they did, and have been doing, is against the rules. I think they ought to be punished for it. I just don't know how much. For me, the punisment is a matter of principle. They knew the rules. They knew they were breaking them. They did it anyway. They should get slammed. But how big should the slam be? People are talking forfeiting games, taking draft picks...and I don't know if it's all that serious. I mean, when you look at the practical usefulness of what they were doing, they were stealing signals from the opposition's defensive coach and figuring out what kind of defense would be called. By the time you get that information, there isn't a lot of time to react. Maybe you can relay something to your quarterback via hand signal and he can change a play at the line of scrimmage to adjust, but the timing would have to be incredible. Why then, you have to ask, would they do it...if it's not all that valuable? There has to be a reason besides Bill Belichick being a loonie...and a very successful loonie at that. So saying that, there has to be some advantage.

I think something has to be done to grab the Patriots collective attention stop the blantant disregard of the rules. Maybe it has little to do with the practical application of the cheating. Maybe forfeiting the game is the right thing to do...if for no other reason that so next time Bill thinks about cheating, he'll think....yeah, but if we get caught, is it worth losing a game?


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kevin Everett

Now here's a guy I can feel sorry, and happy for.

Kevin Everett, tight end for the Bills, suffered a spinal cord injury in the Bills game against the Broncos Sunday. Dr. Andy Cappuccino, in a caffeine rush to judgement (gotta love the last name), proclaimed he'd never walk again. Now, however, he's voluntarily moving his arms and legs, and there's hope that he could lead a normal life. It can't help but make you smile.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ride update

I sent an e-mail to the company team captain about the ride, just with a few questions about how things work. In the response, she said, "You've done great for your first year. Congratulations."

Ok, I know she was referring to the fund raising part, but mind you....we haven't done the ride yet. I haven't pedaled a single mile of what really is the event, and I've alrerady done great....and in my first year, which I think means there's an assumption that there will be a second year.

I'm thinking, let's just survive the ride, then decide if a) we've done great and b) if this is a first ,or only year.


the Britney debacle

I stay well outside the pop culture buzz, so I didn't catch the MTV Video Music Awards. I just have enough going on without trying to squeeze that in. I did see the aftermath though, last night on one of those TV tabloid shows before I went to the gym. Ooofff!

Apparently I'm not the only one with too much going on to squeeze things in. It looks like someone is spending far too much "party princess" time and way too little "gym" time for that act. Yo Ms. Spears, when you have that much of you bulging around the costume, I only have two words. Peasant dress. They only showed about three seconds of the performance, but not only did it remind me of why I don't wear a speedo at the beach, it reminded me of why I don't sleepwalk in a speedo at the beach. She not only looked like, but had all the energy of a beached whale.

Stick a fork in that piece of trailer trash. She is done.


Monday, September 10, 2007

the ride looms

It's just under three weeks to the MS Bike ride, and yeah, I'm getting a little nervous. I mean, I think I'm pretty much ready, but it's all still an unknown quantity, so I expect to be a little nervous, until I actually do it.

I wanted to ride with the folks from work this weekend. Our team had a scheduled training ride on a route with two options. You could do a smaller 40 mile trip or a longer 54 mile trip. I assumed we'd all be doing 54 miles. After all, the ride really is getting close, and we'll be going longer still. I woke up (at 5:45) to the sound of pouring rain on the roof, and the wife asked if I was reconsidering. Nah, it might just be an isolated thing, and it might be fine where I was going. I fired up the computer and checked the local weather radar and it did look like an isolated thing, so I got dressed, put all the bike stuff in the car. The rain had stopped, so I took the dog out. I headed off for the ride, and noticed a lot of little rain clouds all over the place. I got out of the car at the place we were to meet, and the wind was howling...out of the east.

Everyone was standing around, waiting for the rest of the group to show up, discussing the route and the weather. Everyone except me had pretty much decided on the short route, but some were undecided. We had a rest stop about halfway through, and the turn for the short route came after that, so the decision could be deferred. We started west, which was pretty easy. The wind was at our back and there was no rain. The pace was great for me...about 19-20 miles an hour. I can honestly say I really enjoyed it. Then we got to the rest stop. I got to talk to some of the people I didn't really know. It was nice. Then we started talking about going back...into the wind. Then it was apparent. Everyone but me wanted the short route, so we got to the place where you had to turn one way or the other, and I left them. Yeah, the wind was nasty. Yeah, it might start raining. Those things might happen in three weeks too, though. Granted, most of those people have done this before, and maybe they have a better sense of what it takes, but I haven't, and I don't. I'm training with a touch of anxiety, and I want to make sure I'm going to make it.

In the end, yes, the wind was nasty on the trip back. There was one place, in the middle of farm land, where I turned off one county road heading south onto another heading east, and it was in the middle of trees or buildings blocking the wind. It was like hitting a wall, but I got through it. I got drizzled on twice, but it was just drizzle and I got through that too. I got back to the parking lot as the last of the rest of them were leaving. There has to be a God, and he has to be looking out for me a little bit, because about two seconds after I started the car and headed home, the bottom fell out of the sky and it started pouring.


Football season

Has the NFL season started yet? Anyone know when that's supposed to happen? If you find out, could you call the Jaguars front office and let them know? I'd hate for them to miss it. Thanks.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

I love the smell of road kill in the morning smeels like..vict...well no. No matter how you look at it, dead armadillos, racoons, opossum, or snakes, ripening in the morning sun, don't smell like victory. Apocolypse Now be damned. It does give you an idea which way the wind's blowing when you're bike riding though. If you can't decide whether the headwind you're feeling is self induced or the real thing, road kill will help. If you can smell it long before you get to it, it's a real headwind. If you're smelling it after you pass it, it's self induced. I know, too much information.

I rode Wednesday morning, for the first time on a weekday while school was in session. The array of busses, crossing guards and teen drivers on their way to school was challenging, but not enough to stop me before 51 miles. I figured all that would be finished soon after I started, but I was wrong. What school still has busses picking kids up at 8:30? The youngster is already at his desk then. Tomorrow, another practice ride with the people I will probably ride in the real thing. The folks from work are doing 54 miles, so I'll finally meet the rest of the "team".

Speaking of the youngster...he shocked the hell out of me this morning.

"Ya know dad, it feels really weird to think it, and even weirder to say it, but school's pretty cool."

Maybe, just maybe, we're turning a corner. Oh I hope so.

His high school has their first home football game tonight. He asked if we'd take him. I said..suuuuurrrreeee. But if we take you, we aren't driving all the way there just to come home, turn around and go back for you. We're staying for the game....and we're going to sit with you....and when the band plays, we're gonna get up and dance. No, not really, but the look of terror was priceless.

Labels: ,

defending Ron Mexico....lets make Whoopi

So I'm in the gym the other night, walking quickly to nowhere on the treadmill, watching ESPN News, when a clip of Whoopi Goldberg from the View comes on, trying to speculatively defend Michael Vick.

I don't have the exact quote, but the gist is...Ron's from the deep south, and dog fighting is part of their culture. He may not have seen anything wrong with it. If he was from New York, Whoopi would hold him to a higher moral standard.

Oh WRONG...on a few levels.

Ron Mexico is from Newport News, Virginia. It's across the James River from Norfolk. It's a nice drive from Virginia Beach, where people from Newport News spend their summer Saturdays on occasion. It's absolutely NOT the deep south. Newport News is more like the ankle-deep south.

Now, let's look at the deep south...say Jacksonville, Florida...where I live. I don't know anyone involved in dog fighting. It's not part of our culture. I know of nobody who believes it's an acceptable part of our lifestyle here or anywhere. No water cooler conversation starts with, "So I took Bruiser to the dog fights last night and..." At no time have I heard a commercial for an entertainment establishment that goes, "Come to Joe's Bar, where Friday night we have two for one drinks for the ladies and dog fighting 'til 2:00" I mean, we're not squeaky clean. Ladies mud/jello wrestling has found itself in drinking establishments (but even that, not very recently that I know of) and we're OK with that, but dog fighting? Not so much. I'm not saying it doesn't exist here. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that it does, but people who do that know it's wrong. They know they have to hide what they're doing (which is why I don't know anyone who's doing it). If they didn't, they'd be dog fighting on Saturday afternoons in public, but they're not...and they're not because they know better.

Lastly, the New York crack. Let me get this straight. The moral high ground in this country is held...where? Oh don't make me puke.

Next time Whoopi...or maybe for the first time, Whoopi, think before you open that mouth.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

passive aggressive whining....the advanced course

Anyone who's read here in the recent past knows of the event that has pretty much defined my year.

Sometime after Christmas I decided my weight was going in the wrong direction. Sometime in the spring, somebody convince me to channel my weight loss/health initiative into the MS Bike Ride. Since then I've been on a training and fund raising mission. So far both have been pretty successful, but not because I sat back and let them happen. It's because I made them happen.

Also, if you've read here for a real long time, you know about the whiners I work with. I haven't written about them recently, but they still exist, and they still whine. All the people I work with aren't whiners, but there is a contingent that does, and they are experts in the field.

One of the whiners is involved with a walk for the Lukemia and Lymphona Society. She has had lymphoma, so she's very passionate about the cause, and that's a good thing. I support what she's doing. I gave her a donation, about a month ago. Here's where the twist comes in though. She's a bit miffed at me. I know she is because she's mentioned on more than one occasion, that I've stolen all her donations. She's not getting as many people contributing to her cause as she expected, I suppose, and she's placing the blame firmly on me, and my more sucessful effort to solicit funds for the MS Society. Today, again, she said (in a half-joking tone) she's pissed at me for stealing all her donations...that nobody was contributing to her cause, and flipped me the double fisted bird. The thing is, she then proceeds to come to my desk and hand me money for the MS ride..a donation that exactly matches what I gave her. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if she handed me the exact same physical bills that I handed her a month ago. Who knows, maybe it's just an eeire coincidence that the denominations are exactly the same.

Sooooo...what? Is that meant to make me feel guilty or something? It does make me feel a little strange. What kind of message am I supposed to get out of all that? I kind-of get the feeling it's "Yeah I'm pissed at you, and this makes us even." If that's it, get over it. To be honest, the overwhelming majority of what I've raised has come from people outside of work. Some has come from coworkers, but not all that much, and some of what has come from there is from people she doesn't know or work around. I have also been actively soliciting pledges since March. She....hasn't. I think she expects people to just walk up and hand her money. Some folks will, but most won't, and it's not because they don't want to support you. It's because they have lives and your cause is far away from their radar screen if you don't help put it there. They need reminders. Then there's the fact that she's just a teeny bit abrasive (which, I know, you really wouldn't have guessed from someone who'd flip me off like that) and I'm...well...not. People are more inclined to be nice to someone who's nice to them, which I believe has helped my cause a little bit. In any case, it's made for a very strange morning.

Labels: ,

a dose of humble pie

It wasn't anything drastic. It was just a little disappointing.

I got up Saturday morning to ride with the same group I rode with three weeks ago, from the new bike shop. I thought (wrongly) it would be the same kind of group and the same kind of ride. I saw a few of the same faces. It got different when there wasn't any question about who had never been on a group safety talk. It was just...everybody ready? Lets go!

It started faster than last time. The last time we did 17 or 18 miles an hour to start and worked up to 20 to 21 after three or four miles. Saturday, we were doing 20 right from the beginning. I was OK though. I think I can do 20 in a group for a long time. Then it changed though. It kept accelerating. Soon we got up to 21, then 22...and it steadily increased to 24. I was hanging in there, but they weren't slowing down. If anything, it was just getting faster. At seven miles, I decided I wasn't going to finish if I kept doing that. I was already burning myself out, so I just waived them all past me and slowed down to about 18 miles an hour. I finished most of their route (never seeing them again) and modified the end to go farther. I still did 61 miles, but that start (and the wind) killed me. I knew before we left that I couldn't keep up that pace. I just didn't realize that's what they'd be doing. Yeah, mayber I should have asked. It's a disappointing dose of reality, but not an unexpected one. One day, maybe, I'll be in that league, but I know I'm not there now and I won't be soon.

Then I played golf yesterday....very badly. Actually, I didn't have all that many bad shots. I just didn't hit any really good ones either, and I couldn't hit driver to save my life...and stubbornly kept trying. It wasn't pretty. It was fun. I mean, I loved getting out and playing, and had a great time. I would have had a better time though if I would have brought some game along. it goes. I can still ride, and will...a lot. I'm just not that serious about it that I'll be riding in a group that rides a pace in the mid 20's. I just bit off a bit more than I'm ready for. I'll get back to the driving range and the golf game will get back to....almost decent. At least I'm riding, and golfing.

On a different note...lest we forget the news bombshell of the weekend in J'ville...Byron Leftwich is gone. I don't know whether to be happy or sad. You could tell when I'd write about him the last few weeks, I wasn't very confident in the guy leading the Jaguars to the playoffs. The quarterback, for now, is David Garrard. My problem is...I don't think he's the answer either, but I hope he proves me wrong. Now more than ever I'm asking why. Why, oh why, didn't we draft Brady Quinn?

Labels: ,