2005
12.31

&nbps;

I didn’t get a card out in time but I figured you would see this. I hope you have fantastic birthday!

2005
12.30

Miles riden today: 2.2 miles (28.6 so far this week)
Total Miles riden since Sept. 19, 2005: 590.6
(Mileage totals by bike: 525.8-New Schwinn Hybrid; 2.8-Old Schwinn; 8.0-Graziella Folding Bicycle; 57-Rental bicycle in Portland)

My only riding today was from home to NW 23rd & Broadway (to run a few errands) and back. The weather is a bit cooler this evening but not cold yet.

2005
12.30

Miles riden today: 7 miles (26.4 so far this week)
Total Miles riden since Sept. 19, 2005: 588.4
(Mileage totals by bike: 523.6-New Schwinn Hybrid; 2.8-Old Schwinn; 8.0-Graziella Folding Bicycle; 57-Rental bicycle in Portland)

Another warm (and incredibly unseasonable) day. Kinda windy but otherwise, it was just downright lovely (I can’t believe I’m wearing shorts today on the bike)

Today’s ride took me from home to auto parts store at NW 23rd & Classen (took a scenic route, not really the most direct way to get there), to buy one of these little spot mirrors which I stuck on my bicycle side mirror (definitely an improvement… I don’t know why the bicycle mirror I bought has a flat mirror instead of a convex one… Without the added spot mirror, the mirror is practically useless.

After that I rolled southward on Western but the traffic was a little hairy so I cut through a parking lot. About this time the rent-a-cop said “Sir!” to me. I first planned to just keep riding but he said “Sir!” to me again, so I stopped because I thought maybe he wanted to tallk or needed something. He then proceeds to tell me that the owners of the parking lot have “declared this to be private property” and that they prefer for folks to ride on sidewalks for safety reasons.

I don’t why but for some reason this really irritated the tar out of me so I argued with him. I told him that I normally ride on the streets but when traffic is busy like it is now I will ride through the parking lots and your boss will just have to deal with it. (what I wanted to say was “safety reasons, my ***”) The guard interrupted and said that I can and should use the sidewalks, I told him that it is illegal to ride on the sidewalks (well truthfully that is a big maybe, but I think in that area you could make a good argument that one can’t safely ride on the sidewalks, and possibly also you can’t legally depending on how the cops would define a “business district” under the municipal ordinances) and that I would ride in the parking lot if I need to and I don’t really care what he says.

The guard then asked for my name, but I decided I had had enough of this conversation so I rode away. I probably took this way too seriously but I guess it really bothers to me to see a corporation control so much public space (this company claims as it’s own 2 blocks of parking lots! I’m sorry but that just isn’t right. No company should own two blocks of open space, or two blocks anywhere. I’m all for respecting private property rights of people, but companies aren’t people even if SCOTUS thinks otherwise). I also didn’t like the idea that this guard’s boss was so anti-bicycle (there’s no way that they question every car that drives through the parking lot) I did feel a tiny bit bad for the guard as I know it isn’t his fault for the company’s policies, but then again to quote a good movie, “saying that it’s your job doesn’t make it right.”

Well anyway after the confrontation with the rent-a-cop I rode on down to Homeland to get a few grocery items and then after that headed east and then south to the Downtown Library where I left my bike locked up for the evening.

The ride home after the bar class was pretty uneventful. Still pretty warm (low 50’s). The improved mirror does make night riding much less stressful (I don’t know why, but at night I’m always more nervous about cars seeing me… which really is goofy given the amount of lights and reflectors I have on my bike)

2005
12.30

What I’m reading

 

I read Wendell Berry’s short story “Pray without ceasing” (found in his book Fidelity: Five Stories) yesterday morning and it has really stuck in my mind, in fact I would say it may be my new favorite of Berry’s works. Such an incredible story of genuine love and forgiveness within the context of the most horrible of situations.

It’s interesting to me how this author does so well in so many different modes of writing — essays, short stories, novels and poetry. Off hand, I can’t think of anyone who is quite like this (of course I’m not that well read, so that’s not saying much)

In the interests of full disclosure: The links above on the book titles in this blogpost point to Amazon.com. If these books interest you, please consider buying them by these links as I get a percentage of the sales made through these links.


2005
12.29

Miles riden today: 4.5 miles (19.4 so far this week)
Total Miles riden since Sept. 19, 2005: 581.4
(Mileage totals by bike: 516.6-New Schwinn Hybrid; 2.8-Old Schwinn; 8.0-Graziella Folding Bicycle; 57-Rental bicycle in Portland)

Today’s ride was from home to the downtown library (where I lock up my bike when I go to the Bar Pres classes that are a few blocks away) around 5 p.m. This time I just buzzed right down Broadway all the way to Park Avenue, which was loads of fun. A fair bit of traffic, but I just occupied my lane and kept on trucking without any problems. It was also a fun route as it went right through the middle of the biggest buildings in downtown OKC (probably not as cool as riding in Manhattan or a place like that, but still fun none the less).

After class I rode to the Bricktown Brewery for a snack and a pint of Stout, and then after that worked my way back north to my neighborhood. The ride was much easier than last night since the wind is no longer blowing at gale force. Hardly anyone was on the road (cars or bikes), until I got to Walnut when some teenage boys were riding their bikes (hehehe, I got a kick out of flying right past them… I might be a fat dude on a crazy looking bike but I was having a good night).

Anyway I thought the ride was to be completely uneventful until I made the turn east on NE 16th (my street) when out of nowhere I saw 3 stray dogs just a few feet away. I think I starteled them as much as they startled me because they just stood there for a second before they started chasing me, barking and growling. Normally of course if I see a mean dog ahead, I would get off my bike and walk past (using the bike as a shield if the dog tries to charge me) but this time there was no time as they about 3 feet behind me, so bam, I just took off and luckily I was able to hold up a good pace long enough to leave them behind.

Anyway all is well. I guess it goes to show that you never know what your ride will be like.

2005
12.28

 

Heartawake.com: Writings by Dr. Alan F. Zundel — I’ll have to go back and read more of his work, but I did find his The Development of Christian Zen (PDF file) to be an interesting read, mostly in that it seeks to trace some of the influences/teaching lineage of teachers who practice both Zen and Christianity. (this idea of tracing a lineage of teachers in Buddhism used to turn me off, but now I see it more positively as being about gratitude for those who’ve gone before you and who have helped bring you to where you are today)

2005
12.28

 

MSNBC: Oklahoma, Texas told to expect more fires — ‘Red flag’ conditions might return; Texas governor declares disaster

NewsOK.com: ‘You can lose a house … losing a life is different’ (this story has a list of all of the recent grassfires on the sidebar… it is astonishing how bad things are getting… I can remember some bad years for grassfires, but not in the wintertime. It definitely seems pretty crazy, but I wonder how much of this is the result of global climate change as well as the proliferation of flamable materials due to the lack of the prairefires that used to burn across western Oklahoma every few years before white settlement occurred. )

2005
12.28

 

NewsOK: Touted teacher, husband facing multiple charges

KXII.com: Teacher, Youth Counselor Charged With Growing Marijuana

KOTV: Broken Arrow Teacher, Youth Counselor Charged With Growing Marijuana

Dare Generation Diary: Cannabis Production = Education Reduction?

This is absolute insanity. This couple were productive members of their community (Rebecca was the teacher of year in Broken Arrow, and was one of only 6 teachers in the large Broken Arrow school district to receive National Board Certification), yet for the “crime” of growing a plant, they could receive a possible LIFE sentence in prison.

As a kid during the Cold War days of the 80’s, I always wondered how it would feel to live in a totalitarian country without freedom. I think I’m beginning to get a better idea of what it is like.

2005
12.28

 

The Atlantic Monthly: Declare War — It’s time to stop slipping into armed conflict, by Leslie H. Gelb and Anne-Marie Slaughter

I think this is a wonderful idea but am curious as to what my conservative readers would think? I would think this idea would be well-liked by conservatives, since the idea calls for returning to the original intent of the founders, but I also understand that it might be perceived as weaking the Presidential war powers. Anyway I would love to hear y’all’s thoughts on it (or anyone else’s for that matter)

2005
12.28

Miles riden today: 4.2 miles (14.9 so far this week)
Total Miles riden since Sept. 19, 2005: 576.9
(Mileage totals by bike: 512.1-New Schwinn Hybrid; 2.8-Old Schwinn; 8.0-Graziella Folding Bicycle; 57-Rental bicycle in Portland)

Today I rode on my regular commuting bike (the Schwinn Hybrid) from my house to the downtown library where I locked up my bike while I was at the BARBRI class at the Sheraton (see earlier post), and then after that rode back.

The ride both ways was pretty smooth. The ride to downtown was gorgeous with the sun setting, while the ride back home was pretty fast since downtown has little traffic at night (except for Bricktown, but that’s not really downtown exactly). I definitely think this will work out well by bike. The only real problem today was the wind. The ride home was a bit of a challenge due the cross-wind, which really made you feel like you were going all over the place (not nearly as bad though as driving… early today, when I drove to the S. side I felt like I was getting blown all over the road)