The morning routine: our critters get us up at 5 AM, whining for their breakfast. Donna gets up with them to start the coffee. Once they’ve eaten and taken their morning potty break, they join Donna for some lap time. I want to emphasize that this is not a posed photo. It’s what I see every morning (I did agree not to show Donna’s morning face, on pain of death).
Ever since I started volunteering at the air museum, I’ve been a Wednesday guy. Now, since so many snowbird volunteers are going home for the summer, Monday is undermanned and I’ve been asked to switch days. I know all the Wednesday people, but the Monday folks, so far, are strangers. Yesterday, riding in for my new Monday shift, I passed another guy on a Goldwing. At a certain point on the way to the museum, down by the Air Force boneyard, there are only so many places traffic can be going. The guy on the other Wing was still a few car lengths back, and by then I’d figured out he must be a Monday volunteer too. Sure enough, we pulled into the staff parking lot together and had a nice chat about our bikes. Sadly, he’s a snowbird too, and yesterday was his last day before going back north for the summer. I won’t see him again until November. Too bad … there are plenty of Harley guys in this town, but not many Wingers. Maybe I’ll be able to ride with him next winter.
I’m still tweaking the new bicycle. So far I’ve gone through two handlebar stems, trying to get the bar a little higher. It’s not yet as high as it needs to be: I can ride comfortably for a mile or so, but then I have to sit up straight for a while, with just my fingertips on the handgrips. The next step will probably be a different handlebar. I replaced the pedals with a set I found online ($80 at the bike shop, $25 on Amazon) and am really happy with them. Even wearing bike shoes, my feet were slipping off the stock pedals, but they slip no more. I got a good ride in with some friends on Sunday.
Now I’m trying to figure out how to keep the bicycle from being stolen. After Sunday’s ride we went to a local pub for lunch. I secured the bike to the rack on our truck with a cable lock threaded through the frame and front wheel, then a U-lock clamped to the frame and rack, with an additional cable threaded through the U-lock, rear wheel, and saddle. Not to mention the lock securing the bike rack to the trailer hitch, so they can’t walk off with the whole kit & caboodle.
I parked the trunk as close to the pub’s front door as I could, and got up twice during lunch to go check on it. “This is ridiculous,” I kept thinking. When I got home I posted this photo to Facebook. My friends scoffed at my feeble attempt to defeat the thieves. Cables don’t stand up to bolt cutters, they said, and even U-locks aren’t much of a deterrent. They want me to buy an expensive chain made of unobtanium, but I’m on a budget and it’s going to have to wait.
I probably won’t watch the New York primary tonight. Same old same old, talking heads yammering about numbers. I’m sure the instant CNN calls the winner it’ll be on all channels, no matter what else I might be watching. Maybe the safest thing’ll be to turn off the TV altogether and have a reading night.
By the way, I find it dispiriting to see so many friends on the left going after Hillary Clinton with the same lies and slanders wielded by Republicans lo these many years. I hope she does well tonight. #I’mWithHer, as the kids on Twitter say.
Last week a Facebook friend linked to a gossip column item about an anti-Planned Parenthood politician whose 16-year-old daughter is pregnant. My friend’s intent was to expose a right-wing hyprocrite, and I get that: perhaps the politician will have the decency to shut up now. But damn, by naming the politician, whoever wrote the gossip column—and all the people who gleefully linked to it on Facebook and Twitter—also named the daughter. Any slut-shaming troll who wants to make that girl’s life miserable can now look her up in the phone book or on social media. I’m pretty sure no mom or dad who has a daughter would ever post a link like that, and I’m certainly not going to share it here. Besides, by now can’t we all safely assume any Republican politician is a hyprocrite, and likely some kind of pervert, when it comes to sex?
And then there’s this: John Kasich Prompts Firestorm after Telling Female Student Not to Go to Parties Where There’s a Lot of Alcohol. I do not think John Kasich is a “nice guy.” He’s an anti-woman religious zealot, no different from Ted Cruz, eager to impose his brand of Sharia law on the rest of us. But look, anyone who pretends college drinking isn’t a huge problem, who refuses to acknowledge the direct link between drinking and campus rapes and assaults, is either working for the liquor industry or willfully ignorant. What Kasich told that student was what any father would tell his daughter. It came across as talking down, and that’s unfortunate. He could have made the same point without seeming to insult women who are concerned about sexual assault. But as much as I dislike the man, I can’t fault him for speaking the truth.
Here’s an article that should be passed around: Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous and Drivers Are Falling Asleep at the Wheel. Thank Congress. My first post-military job was as a traveling flight safety instructor, driving to USAF bases all over the western USA in an RV converted into a mobile classroom. I was nodding off at the wheel all the time, frightened I’d kill myself and the other instructor who traveled with me. It wasn’t until a few years later, when I started nodding off at the desk job I’d moved on to, that I went in for a sleep study and discovered I had sleep apnea. I look at truckers today and see me a few years back. Accidents involving big trucks don’t get the attention they should from the media, probably because of industry pressure. If you drive on an interstate with heavy truck traffic, as I do when I travel between Tucson and Phoenix on I-10, you really need to keep an eye on trucks and buses … they work the hell out of those drivers, who don’t make money if they don’t cheat on the rest rules.
I’m starting to work on an Air-Minded article about the F-15 Eagle’s fuel system. I’ve got my Dash-1 out and have uploaded some relevant photos to Flickr. What I’m saying is goodbye for now … there’s work to do!