Monday, September 27, 2010

Keith's 50th and More

The elections are coming, the elections are coming! ...and once again I find myself on the opposite end of the political spectrum from where I previously found shelter and comfort. I was a modern-day-right-wing-latte-sipping-SUV-driving-Christian-crusader, and I was right. I seldom if ever questioned the words of Limbaugh or Hannity and I fully bought into the left-wing media bias theory. Tax breaks for wealthy investors and growth of big-business was all that mattered because as Rush was often fond of saying, 'no cab driver ever offered anybody a job".  I'm sure I too would be up in arms at the thought of a mosque anywhere near 'ground zero' had I not changed.

It's been four years since I put aside my blinders. I have the previous (Bush) administration and FAA management to thank for bringing me out of the darkness.

I'm still very much pro-life but I'm no longer held hostage over that lone issue. I'm also very much pro-labor because I understand that without a strong middle-class there can be no flourishing economy; there can be no overcompensated executives at the top without the sacrifices of the much lower paid masses to prop them up. A symbiotic relationship? It would be nice if it really was. Yeah, I know, my thinking is very simplistic. Sometimes there's no need to complicate an issue.

A part of me hopes that Republicans actually do take back control of Congress as the polls appear to indicate will happen. Rather than simply sitting on the sidelines heckling the quarterback (Obama) just brought into the game trying as he might to make something of the 63-3 deficit he was handed, they can lace up their cleats and get some skin in the game. (insert additional comments here about how it was Republicans at the helm when this ship ran aground) But only a very small part of me wishes for that.

Keith and Tracee put on a nice get-together Saturday night to celebrate Keith's 50th orbit around the sun. I remember how he and I used to be at odds so much when we were younger.  I resented him. The familiar admonishment from Mom and Dad, "you're older and should know better" trumped any defense I may have had when we fought. Taking my Slinky and seeing how far he and a friend could wrap it around our house had nothing to do with me being older and wiser but really, I'm over that now. Really, I am. A nicer guy you're not likely to find.

The plan was for me to take Mom home around 7:00 before it got too late but she was enjoying herself too much to leave. She and Tammy got to spend a couple hours together talking the night away. She managed to hang in there until 10:30 when we left and brought her home.

A few minutes of party video.

Before Rachel left for college she spent some time working with Charlie trying to teach him to roll-over. He was always so focused on the treat that it made training him difficult. Plus, Toby and Allie were there to show their skills and distract him or maybe he was actually learning from them. Anyway, he's finally got it.

I went over 5000 road miles for 2010 with Sunday morning's ride, the Hampton Loop. It's been a much better year of riding than I expected it would be. I began the year slowly with lots of knee pain but found my stride in early July with the help of a new pedal stroke and I haven't let up much since then. From 2004-2007 my yearly mileage ranged from 7500 to 9000 miles. I'm shy of that pace this year but when I compare those years with this year from July forward I'm ahead. The past few months have been some of the most fun I've had on my bike in years.

Speaking of fun on a bike...we roadies can often be seen doing what's called a track-stand at stoplights while waiting for the light to change. Rather than unclip from our pedals and putting a foot down to steady ourselves we'll balance with little to no forward movement. I'm getting bored with track-stands lately and I've found something a little more showy to incorporate into my act...

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