A Personal Blog

I have always been driven to know things. Even when I shouldn't. The term "curious" doesn't even begin to describe my approach to life. When I was younger I wanted to know everything and do everything. Somewhere along the way I realized that was not possible, that I had better scale back my goals and focus on what's really important to me to get done in this lifetime. I'm not sure I'm doing a good job of that, but I'm still trying.

Ride Report 2018-06-13

My cycling training has been going well. I have an 11.5-mile loop in my neighborhood that includes several steep climbs that have been challenging. I ride that loop once a week, and have improved steadily, which is gratifying.

Today, however, was a little more challenging. It’s a “good news, bad news” story.

The good news is, I was able to ride up all the steep climbs. When I first rode these hills I had to stop and walk on three of them. Each week I reduced the number of walks and shortened the length. Today, I rode them all.


My Reading Backlog

A couple of days ago I posted to Facebook about my tendency to pick up another book before I finish the one I'm reading. I provided a list of 29 books I am "in the middle of".

I thought that was bad.

It got worse.

I started looking through my Nook app and kept finding books there that I had started and not finished and then completely forgot about. I guess Nook books are easily "out of sight and out of mind". I started adding those to my list of 29, then decided I might as well also add the books I've bought and not yet read.


Naming Peace: The Inequality of War and Peace

Recently a cousin commented on Facebook, “War is mankind’s stupidest activity, yet it persists. I am 75 and I don’t have a clear memory of America ever being at peace.”

I am acutely aware that we have been at peace in my lifetime. I am not eligible for membership in either the VFW or American Legion, because the years I served in the military, 1976-1979, the USA was technically not at war.


Social Media and Politics Are Killing America

One thing that has always puzzled me is how people who are obviously intelligent in most things will believe utter crap, will defend their belief in utter crap and refuse to consider any other viewpoint.

And that is truer than ever in the current environment where social media seems to rule over all common sense.

Even before social media came along, the slide of politics into character assassination and demagoguery was evident. I don’t know if it’s politicians feeding the social media machines, or social media feeding the politicians, but it’s gotten worse, and fast.


Favorite Authors: Louis L'Amour

In the fall of 1974 I was working as a truck mechanic. I had gotten a summer job working in the warehouse of Cathcart-Allied Moving and Storage in Chamblee, Georgia. On occasion the guys working in the warehouse went out with packers and helped pack up a customer’s belongings. Other times we went with a driver and helped load the boxes and furniture in the truck. Many of the drivers were owner-operators, contracted to the moving company; they owned the truck, but the company supplied the trailer. Other drivers were employees and drove trucks owned by the company.


Brown Meal on a Red, White, and Blue Day

Grilling out these days is a little different from my younger years, when the grill turned out mainly hotdogs and hamburgers.

We grilled the chicken, rubbed with Penzye's BBQ 3000 seasoning, and grilled the corn (picked up at a roadside stand in the Georgia mountains yesterday) in the husks. We added RiceSelect Royal Blend Texmati White, Brown, Wild, and Thai Red rice, and accompanied that with a loaf of pesto and parmesan bread we picked up at the Sandy Springs Farmers Market Saturday.


Sticks and Stones and Words and Anger

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I don’t know how many times my mother made me recite that as a child, but it was frequent enough that it is seared into my memory.

Wikipedia says, “'Sticks and Stones' is an English language children's rhyme. It persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured.”