Doing it all the hard way...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Just shoot me

In the sad, sad world that is accounting, people have to deal with inventories that are a compilation of items purchased at different prices.  One of the methods is called LIFO, which stands for Last In First Out. 

After ringing in the new year with the flu and lingering knee funk, I hit the deck on one of the first days of the new year cracking some ribs.  Enough was enough.

We had a family rule that my children couldn't participate in sports that had ambulances standing by as a matter of course.  It was really a contrived rule to keep my son from playing football and limping for the rest of his life.

Training while recovering from more than two things seemed like an equally reasonable rule and I vowed to stay off the bike. 

Little did I know that not only would my knee make itself known again, but my flu would celebrate a one month anniversary with a reprise that caused me to miss my first day of work due to illness in a few years. 

So as it happens, my ribs are healed so what hit me last was the first to completely leave me.  
I am hitting the weights tomorrow and will ease back into riding this weekend. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Some pigs just don’t want to fly

More than twenty years ago I heard a new take on the old adage, “You can’t teach a pig to fly.”  The farmer expanded the saying with, “First off; the pig is never going to fly. Second, after a while you just irritate the pig.”  I would add two more to that list, some pigs don’t want to fly and finally, eventually the teacher gets fed up with trying to teach the pig to fly.

After years of trying to help a loved one to have a more healthy fulfilling life I have finally realized that they really have no desire to be happy.  I have also come to the conclusion that I am sick of trying.  It is better for my sanity to just acknowledge they have a set of values that does not include the things that I value such as love, family or happiness. 

I understand that we all come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences.  Sometimes these experiences make us shy, or angry, or cheap, or fearful, or selfish.  Sometimes those experiences make us kind, generous, prompt, or funny.  I realize that these traits become ingrained and are exceptionally hard to change and that familiarity with a set of values or habits, be they normal or unconventional, is comforting. 

We don’t go to where we are happy; we go to where we are comfortable.   That is sad but true and worth repeating. We don’t go to where we are happy; we go to where we are comfortable.

Despite the baggage of our respective pasts that we all carry, I also believe that from time to time we happen upon opportunities where we can grow beyond those issues that have limited us in the past.  To be sure, those choices are difficult as they require us to reverse years of an existing behavior.  I also believe that when those chances come, people recognize them for what they are and can either decide to move forward, or with more awareness of the situation than they care to acknowledge, not move forward, but retreat to the fa├žade they have built in order to justify their behavior.

We have all felt rejection and insecurity at one time or another. We have all been betrayed and had our feelings hurt by people we should have been able to trust.  Many have been the victim of horrific events. We find a way to adapt move forward.  Sadly the ways we adapt often hurt us later in life. It alters our perspective, our values and our behavior.

At some point, however, we have choices.  We can no longer blame our behavior on events that happened decades ago.  The obese adult can claim he overeats because his mother didn’t feed him breakfast when he was in kindergarten, but eventually the choice to overeat is his and his alone.  Circumstances may have started it, but we choose if it continues or if it stops.

It all boils down to this; eventually, we get to choose.   We are in charge. By the way, if you want to skip reading East of Eden and want the whole book boiled down into one sentence here it is; we get to choose. 

What do you do when a loved one chooses to continue to embrace values that are diametrically opposed to everything that brings happiness and everything that you believe in?  

Yeah, I don’t know either.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Coffee and Lies #53 Brown going down

Not a good photo, but you get the idea..

The car told me it was 28 freakin' degrees on the way to the Rendezvous on Capital Hill. My powers of denial are strong and I continued undaunted. I parked and encased my feet for battle with the cold.  I mounted my bike and spotted the sparkling white fenders of Mr. T's commuting tank.  McWoodie rolled up and Big John called to find out if we were really going to ride. 

We opted for a pre-ride "conference at Fuel Coffee to discuss the situation.  Thirty minutes of sunshine should have thawed out some ice, or so we thought. Emboldened by caffeine we elected to avoid the ice slalom that is Mercer Island in winter and ride the south end of the lake. 

Along Rainier the bike lane had a frosting that we chose to avoid to the frustration of more than a few drivers.  I cannot relay how little value I put on their horns. The weather in Guam is of more interest to me than any unhappiness caused by staying on dry pavement. It was still pretty early and traffic was light so the disruption we caused to the greater society was minimal. 

We were glad to turn into the airport and get away from traffic.  We chatted about this and that and recalled some warmer rides. 

The roads were thawing we were glad to see.  We had slowed to five mph on some stretches and felt good about our level of caution.  We were circling back to Seward to add just a couple k's and on a slow descent McWoodie and I went down next to each other like two sacks of potatoes. I hit hard on my right side and lucky for both of us, our slow speed meant there wasn't any sliding; just a solid "thud."

There were two cyclists riding uphill and they asked it we were okay.  After lying and saying we were fine they commented on how impressed they were with our synchronized crashing.  

I took a deep breath and felt a familiar pain on my right side.  The last time I felt this way I cracked a rib or two.  Oh well, let's see how my powers of denial serve me now.. McWoodie escaped with some road rash.  It was the kind of day that deserved a bit of a badge of honor, but something more along the lines of a patch or pin would have been more appropriate.

With El Chefe' tearing his ACL and then having emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage in the span of a week, I'm still feeling pretty lucky.   He managed to get discharged from the hospital the day before he was scheduled to have his MRI.  Maybe his luck is changing.  Maybe..
Chillin' on the bike
It did feel good to get out and ride. I am still chasing the mung out of my lungs and now I have two reasons not to breathe deep for a while.  'Tis the season for zone one and two, so no great loss.  I am ready to be completely healthy.  I'm trying to remember what that was like.  Hottie seems to be winning the battle with pneumonia, though it appears there are still a few more rounds to that fight.  TTFN.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

One four one four Sunny January Ride

1/4/14  = one four one four       Get it ?
Oh yeah, This is January baby !!
I should catch up my loyal fan on what is new in Evodom.  Hottie got Pneumonia and I get pretty sick as well.  That killed not only my planned Solstice folly but my goal of 10,000k also went down the proverbial commode as well.  We spent Chismus coughing and taking turns making tea.  I hadn't been that sick in over a decade and it was epic for Hottie as well.  

I did end up with over 9,500k which is a new high.  I don't expect I'll beat that but since I do keep track it is worth noting. 

I'm still coughing and am far from 100% but on a side note, my knee is making great progress.  When the doc said eight weeks to heal, he didn't make up that number.  It is feeling solid, just a tad tender now and then.  

With dry weather I decided to take an easy loop around Lake Washington on Saturday morning. I dropped down Perkins way and spotted some God rays and whipped out my Canon and snapped this:
Yeah, it looked like this.
The ride was fine and as long as I didn't breathe deep, I was okay.  I got an early start so I beat most of the traffic and was glad to sneak one in without having to deal with rain.

So far, twenty fourteen is just fine with me.