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books

anonymity

So why aren’t there any names or places mentioned here? Are you famililar with the term “dooced?

Not that I plan to go on the rampage but one can never tell what someone else will find critical or offensive. Freedom of speech is a core American value but protecting/defending it can be a lot of work.

So in the tradition of many anonymous contributors, I’d rather these words stand on their own with no way to infer any additional meaning from the author’s personal situation or characteristics.

Categories
books observations

Aaron Goss is a jackass

I was out this week on some errands and my return journey took me past a recent accident scene where a cyclist was killed by a motorist. I noticed there was a Ghost Cycle in place and decided I wanted a picture of it. I’m violently ambivalent about cycling on the street: I would like to but I see too many stupid moves on the part of cyclists and motorists.

Down the street there is a more personal tribute by the friends and family of the man killed. Turns out he was a husband and father and a pretty accomplished rider. Many of the notes left referenced his connections to the local cycling community. The notes from his own kids and nieces/nephews were heartbreaking.

So why the title of this post? This post from a couple of years back might help (sorry I lost the pictures in some over-zealous housecleaning a while back, but it’s here if you want to see it).

In his own words:

I did not wear a helmet because I did not want to. I am a hyper skilled rider and am not going to hit my head if I fall off. A tall bike has different rules. They command respect. If you do fall, you just jump to the ground. Getting on and off is easy. The first time I rode it I wore my full face helmet, but it just got too hot. Balance is easy on a tall bike. They look dangerous but are not. Hell, people joust on them and I have not heard of any head injuries from jousting. Broken bones, yes.

Helmets are fine for those who need them. I made it thru the 1970s without one and I rode my bike everywhere! Kids hitting their heads while riding bikes is not society’s health problem! Kids sitting on the couch eating and getting fat and getting heart disease and diabeties is society’s health problem. In fact it is epidemic! Kids would fare much better if they rode bikes (or any activitiy) with or without a helmet! The kids I see in West Seattle on bikes (and there are damn few) do not EVER wear helmets. Most are first generation immigrants. They are great kids and none of them are fat! I don’t lecture them about helmets. I just ride my bike with them.

[From Point83.com ~ View topic – Need advice]

I haven’t asked him if he has changed his mind, but unpacking what I read above is that only unskilled cyclists are at risk for any injuries. He’s “hyper-skilled” whatever that means. So by inference, everyone who gets hurt or killed on their bike lacks skills or in some way doesn’t peg the Goss-o-meter.

I really haven’t thought much about this brouhaha since I first posted on it, but that tribute brought it all back. I want him and all his hipster pals to go to every family who has lost someone in a bike accident and tell them they weren’t good enough, it was their fault. Go tell those children it was their Dad’s fault, that he wasn’t as accomplished as Aaron Goss or perhaps a select few of his acolytes.

What must it be like to be able to suspend the laws of physics, to deny the weaknesses of human physiology, and to bet against the stupidity of humans and win? Lesser minds like mine can only marvel.

Categories
books

just in time

Shameless commerce, but I love browsing and buying from these guys . . .

An Old Chestnut…

(Please sing aloud to the tune of “The Christmas Song – Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”)

Eyeballs nestled in a pasta dish…
Rubber snakes nipping at your toes,
Yuletide rats, several orange growing fish,
And keychains with an extra-gooshy nose.

Everybody knows, a spider and some body parts
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their frogs and snake hearts
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know the UPS truck’s down the street,
With lots of slime and rubber chickens as a treat,
And every mother’s child can’t wait to see
The screaming monkey flying right into the tree.
And so we’re offering these simple gifts
For kids from one to ninety-two.
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
You need surplus…. You need surplus, you do.

Categories
books

Emily Post, please pickup the white courtesy phone

So when your neighbor calls to let you know they will be away for a couple of weeks on their annual elk hunt, how should a sympathetic vegetarian respond? “Good luck” seems to be counter to my beliefs. “Have fun” less so, but still not good.