Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thrown To The Pavement

         The Portage Creek Bicycle Trail is a well used six mile stretch of macadam that starts not far from my mother's house...the neighborhood that I grew up in...2500 miles East of my present home. Not wanting to experience "cycling withdrawal" symptoms during my visit, I tuned up and borrowed my nephew's 26 inch wheel bike and launched down the trail.
         The morning was warm and the pavement was perfect, until it wasn't. I started to pass a side by side pair of female fast-walkers, plenty of room to get around them on the left edge of the trail, when "KERTHUNCK" ...my chest and my right forearm were making contact with the hard black surface, having traveled over the handlebars in an instant. Yes, I was wearing a helmet.
        I stood up fast and found the bicycle off in the weeds next to the trail. The ladies instantly reacted, "Sir, are you alright?" I sprung up off the pavement and assured them that they hadn't caused my spill, "It was this sinkhole that did it." This version of a mountain bike, a Gary Fisher 'Gitche Gumee' has a rigid front fork, no suspension.
        "I have a cell phone. Do you want me to call somebody?" She offered. when she inspected the hole she asked, "Are you going to call the city about this hole?" She dragged a branch out of the woods and draped over the deep depression. "Well, I am calling this in, the city needs to know about this.", she said loudly. They were quite upset, having witnessed a 65 year old large man slam to the pavement.
        I straightened the handlebars and remounted the Gitche Gumee....I had to finish the trail. While pedaling away from the scene I started to take inventory: two bloody knees, a scuffed right forearm, and a deep pain under my left boob. I wore gloves and even they lost some of their protective surface.    It wasn't until we were sitting on my mother's deck an hour later that my body started to talk to me. The right arm swelled to twice it's normal size....Ice please. My left ribs sent pain Morse Code signals to my brain...let's wrap that with a chest compression wrap and whatever you do, don't cough!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Presidential Intelligence

        I am so glad that I have lived long enough to witness true intelligence occupying the position of "Leader of the Free World." I watched much of the 9/16/15 press conference this morning and am impressed with the thoughtfulness, choice of words, deep understanding of a rainbow of issues, displayed by "44"...not Willie McCovey, Barack H Obama.
        President Carter had his moments as did Clinton. Daddy Bush had his best moment when he puked on the Prime Minister of Japan, forever changing the momentum of the Japanese economy (there are spiritual/samurai economists who actually believe this). Mr. Obama has remained healthy and has maintained his sense of humor in spite of numerous obstacles thrown in his path since he assumed office (twice).
         I am not saying that President Obama hasn't been jerked around by special interests, he knows where his financial support comes from, but he is incredibly aware of America's influence, affluence and arrogance on the world stage. His terms in office have shown us how 'balance of power' works in our federal governmental structure. Which actually is a relief because there are no truly intelligent candidates out there on the horizon.
         I have read both of Barack Obama's books and I was excited to see what he could do to humanize the process by which we are governed. I was also looking forward to the change of perspective he would encourage among the Europeans we discuss politics with every time we travel. I am not sure any of this "change" ever came about but he gave it a decent shot...only time will tell. I am disappointed with congress and the judicial branches of government for always leaning toward their most conservative factions. They squashed "hope" at every turn and intersection.
        So, how does this set us up for the next eight years? I only see us going backwards at an accelerated pace. My backwards may be someone else's forward but, I don't see the country,  or the world improving through political actions. We have peaked...peak everything! I'm sorry for the young people who have had their secure future stolen from them by the greedy generations that preceded them.