The Hills Take Their Toll

Heading off down Mercer Road in Rome
The legendary Hills of Rome can be punishing, but I was wondering if I was even going to see them at the start of the ride on July 7. Less than a half-mile down Mercer Road from the Rome Town Hall, my rear wheel began making some persistent clicking and pinging - upon inspection, several pairs of spokes had come loose - real loose. No spoke wrench, so I had to make some delicate tensioning with a 6" adjustable wrench - enough to get by, but I spent the rest of the ride picking the smoothest line I could find through occasionally rough pavement.

The Descent Down Wooster Hill

I wasn't so lucky on the descent that followed on Wooster Hill. My wheel held up fine, but my little trustworthy digital camera flew off, and I had to waste more time backtracking and searching for scattered pieces. After a time, I did manage to find everything and put it back together, but I couldn't get it to work for the rest of the ride. Good that I carry two cameras. Good also that my cycling companions are quite patient - and by some estimation, photogenic. (Nice modelling of the new BCM 20th anniversary jersey, Ken.)

Smooth Shoulders on Rt. 27

We emerged from the hills of Rome to a nice long downhill run on Rt. 27. With smooth pavement and wide shoulders, I could take some chances with the second camera and record some images on the descent.

Approaching Belgrade Lakes Village

We rolled into Belgrade Lakes village and stopped by the village store, where a fellow from across the street tried to sell us an aluminum boat dock and a pontoon boat to go with it (or actually, raffle tickets for the same). Yep, we were in Belgrade Lakes all right. We decided not to take a chance - hey, you might win, you know - and we headed off toward Castle Island.

Passing through the Isthmus of Castle Island

Castle Island is always a pretty spot where the road threads its way along the narrow causeway and connecting bridges between the lakes. The speed limit drops to 15 mph, however, which causes some consternation in some motorists who cannot accept going as slow as (or slower!) than cyclists. But we managed to evade the more impatient drivers and passed though without incident.

Heading back through Mount Vernon

It began to cloud up a bit as we headed back through Mount Vernon and up Watson Pond Road. We passed Blueberry Hill and French's Mountain, descending back to Rt. 27 and climbing back to Rt. 225. From there it was just a short spin back to the start at the Rome Town Hall, bringing to conclusion one of the hilliest 20-mile rides you can find anywhere.

Until Next Time - See You on the Road!

State agency tabbed for marine debris response

Gov. Sean Parnell has signed an administrative order to deal with marine debris washing up on Alaska's shores from the Japanese tsunami in March 2011.

"While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the lead agency on marine debris, Administrative Order 263 designates the state Department of Environmental Conservation as the lead agency to coordinate state and federal efforts relating to tsunami-generated marine debris," the governor's office said today.

The state has set up a special website with lots of details including how to report marine debris sightings.

Want to run UFA?

Here's an advertisement seeking a new executive director for United Fishermen of Alaska, the state's top commercial fishing organization.

The ad says the position pays $72,000 a year.

As we've previously reported, the job is coming open because the current executive director, Mark Vinsel, is planning to voluntarily transition to another position with UFA.

Board to meet again tomorrow on Cook Inlet

The Alaska Board of Fisheries will meet at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to consider more emergency petitions concerning the Cook Inlet salmon fisheries.

Click here to see the petitions and other meeting information.

Okay, I'm Missing Something Here

Early on Tuesday morning, a Houston shop owner was awakened to a noise and went to investigate. However, he wasn't alone. He took his .12 gauge friend with him that was loaded with .00 buckshot. The shop owner found a man burglarizing his store, shot him...and killed him.
Houston Police found a fatally stabbed woman on Monday morning. Her boyfriend has been arrested for the crime.
A man near Houston was arrested yesterday for calling women over to his car, on the pretense of needing directions, and then exposing himself.
Another Houston man over the past weekend got in an argument with his girlfriend and pulled the van over to continue the discussion. He struck the woman and then picked up a rock and shattered the glass on one of the windows. The glass struck the woman's two year old girl, requiring her to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Okay, I thought our government had banned burglary, knife murders, sex crimes, and assaults on women and children. If these things are banned, why are they continuing to happen? I guess the burglar found out the hard way why burglary is banned. Folks in Texas have guns and laws in place that allow them to use 'em. Burglary in Texas can get you killed...not just put in jail.

Yet, the libs and socialists in this country would disarm us for our own good so burglars can be more effective in carrying out their trade.
Food for thought.

Where Is The Furor?

So, King Bloomberg of New York has locked up the formula and is telling New York mothers who have delivered newborns to pull those milk bags out and go to feedin' with what God gave ya. If mothers insist on using formula, they will be lectured on why they should not do so before acquiescing to their demands. In other words, they will be pressured by hospital staff to do otherwise.

Now, all I hear is crickets from the National Organization for Women. I see it's perfectly all right to kill babies, and when someone wants to interfere with a woman's right to choose how she deals with her body and try to counsel her on why she shouldn't suck a human being from their uterus, the NOW women turn into shrieking night hags with long nails and poisonous fangs. However, when it comes to a woman that WANTS to have her baby delivered alive and wishes to care for it, it's perfectly all right for some man who would be king to attempt to take the right to choose away from them.

I don't know about you, but this seems to me to be a glaring double standard. On the one hand, the feminists don't want men to tell them whether or not they can kill their babies prior to birth. But, on the other hand it's all right for men to tell them whether or not they can use their boobs to feed their live born babies. Hmmmmm.

And you thought it would all stop with cigarettes, didn't you? Bloomberg has outlawed the big gulp in New York City already. You can't buy a soft drink in volumes greater than 16 oz. It was Bloomberg's efforts that resulted in Heinz Ketchup, Starbucks and Subway to reduce the amount of salt they serve...NATIONWIDE. Under Bloomberg's royal edicts, all restaurants in NYC must cut down on the amount of sodium they put in their dishes. In New York, thanks to Bloomberg, you can't smoke in public parks or at the beach. I'm sure that soon, it will be illegal in New York to smoke in your own home. Billionaire Bloomberg has also forced all 25000 NYC restaurants to post a letter grade of A,B, or C as to where it ranks by the health officials of the city. It isn't just about cleanliness, as they might have to put up a B or C for such minor infractions as having the 'Choke' sign improperly placed. He has called the new grading system a success. However, several Star Bucks' branches in New York that were graded with an 'A' were crawling with infestations ranging from vaginal yeast to fecal strep. He also put in bicycle lanes at a cost of $25 million dollars, choking traffic in an already congested situation. He proudly announced that bicycle injuries were down since instituting his lordly policy. What he failed to mention is that pedestrian injuries are UP due to reckless bicyclists.

I think maybe the health officials in New York should go to each hospital and check every new mother's boobs for cleanliness. After all, isn't that where the infants will be feeding from now on? Are they no better than Bloomberg and the other citizens of New York? Then, based on their findings, a sticky A, B or C should be plastered on the accepted boob or the offending boob. One boobie might have an A, and the other boobie might have a C. That way, the nurses can direct the mother to feed the baby from the cleaner boob just in case she's too stupid to know the difference. After all, Bloomberg is the smartest human being in the world and we are but slugs before him.

I could go on and on about his majesty and what other great ideas he's hatching at the interminable cost to the New York City taxpayer, but I won't. I'll just let you, the big governmentniks who like to see taxes raised and Big Brother come in and rule your lives and our lives decide when enough is enough. I decided on my own a long time ago. The question you have to ask yourself is this. How far are you willing to let government go on dictating to us, instead of representing us? That's the question. To be or not to be...ruled.

Idiotic Fanaticism Has to Stop

Let me go on record as saying that I think Obama has been a terrible president. I can say that, because this is America and I can say what I think as long as it doesn't threaten anyone or interfere with another's liberties and freedoms and safety. I don't like his politics, his ideology, his political philosophy nor his liberalist socialistic (and that's what he is O'Reilly, you demagogue) mind set.

Now, having said that, I think that he is still the President of the United States and the office deserves our respect...which means the person in it deserves respect. We can disagree with him, but a little decorum should be the order of every day. The subject of this post is what I have put on this blog below:

This billboard is a travesty to all things decent. There is no way you can compare Obama to the creep in Aurora, CO. Did Obama deserve the Nobel Prize? Not no, but hell no. Does he deserve to be compared to the spoiled rotten little brat who decided to go off and kill, maim and wound seventy innocent people? Not no, but hell no.

The statement being made is about our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan not being brought home by Obama. When he became president, these military personnel were already over there. Our soldiers are making sure that if those that hate us want to kill Americans, then there we are. But, instead of killing innocent and unarmed civilians on our own territory, they have to try and kill fully armed and trained warriors on their territory. Kind of levels the playing field, doncha think?

Obama has allowed our country's killing machine (the military) to be a killing machine. Drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and wherever else they find these idiots, haven taken out dozens of those in leadership positions. He ordered a complete violation of another country's sovereignty and sent our troops in to take out Osama bin Laden. No matter how you cut it, that was pretty gutsy, politically. He ordered a surge in troops to take the battle even further into Afghanistan and now has most of these cretins (that are left) hiding in caves and, like the vampires they are, only coming out at night to plant their IED's. If there's one thing you can't really complain about when it comes to Barak Obama, is that he believes in killing the enemy wherever we find them. And have no doubt, the Taliban and Al Qaeda are our enemies.

So, theses bozos who put this billboard up are angry because our troops are still over there. What? Are we to turn tail and run, leaving our allies to forge ahead on their own without getting the job done? Was Obama to immediately pull the troops and let the Russians and the Chinese and others chide how the United States can't be trusted as an ally or friend; further diminishing our status as a world power? People that put billboards up like this have no idea what a real war is. Since March 19, 2003, the United States has lost 4488 soldiers, 3532 killed in combat in Iraq. Since October 7, 2001, the US has lost 1939 military personnel in Afghanistan. On Iwo Jima we had 26,000 casualties with 6800 dead in 36 days. Okinawa lasted 82 days where the US recorded 62000 casualties with 12000 dead. During the Battle of the Bulge, which lasted 40 days, the US had 90000 casualties with 19000 dead. Yet, we have two wars lasting a decade or more, and the total dead is 6427. I repeat, today's generation doesn't know what a war is. If you want to see a little more of how the billboard above is fanaticism run amok, since Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009, America has suffered 257 deaths in Iraq with only 128 combat related. How is he the murderer of thousands and thousands of our men and women in the military? The lack of reasonable rationale amazes me.

Understand, I am not minimizing the deaths or wounds of those that have served us in these two theatres of operations. One death, one life ruined by severe wounds, is too many. We must never lose our sense of the true worth and value of a life. But, it is those who wish to fly airplanes into buildings and set off underwear and shoe bombs, and who cut off people's heads while filming the gruesome act that have no value on human life. Our young soldiers are over there killing them to keep them from killing us over here. Are they also over there protecting the economic interests of the fat cats who really run the world? Yes they are. But that shouldn't minimize the other job they are doing that keeps us safe in our own country. And to be so blatantly hostile to the office of the presidency as that billboard shows some to be is a blight on us all.

Fanaticism like this must stop. There is no problem with debating the issues and pointing out weaknesses and strengths of candidates. There is no problem with having an opinion about Obama, whether it be positive or negative. But those opinions must bear some element of decency, factual evidence, and moral relevance. Obama didn't start the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I believe he has done all within his power to bring them to as quick an end as possible and still help to maintain the United State's integrity on the world stage. At least in this one respect.

I still think he should not be re-elected, and will voice that opinion in the voting booth. But you will never see me trash him in so crass a way. It is okay to make fun of him, chide his policies, and mock his 'You didn't build that' comment. It is not okay to compare him to a mass murderer of innocent people. That, my friends, is going way beyond the pale. The ones who put that billboard up should be ashamed of themselves. The pity is...they won't be.

Trip to Marseille with the ladies..

Here are a BUTTLOAD of pics from a trip to Marseille..lotsa fun with the ladies of Sauve and my pal Erin..we have all sorts of shit..the pill pedicures..some kid hitting on Aline..also the view from our balcony in Sauve at night..some weird sculptures at a gallery..a artsy maybe commune type house that was awesome..I dunno..

Recoding with Robert is almost done..just have to do a few of my parts...artwork has been decided on already for cover..have some gigs coming up here and in Dublin for ue fest there..and John and Crumb did 3 hilarious podcasts which will be online soon hopefully..still having a ton of fun and not missing NYC at all yet..i will be back there in exactly 3 weeks though..sounds like a long time but it's going by really quick for me..and we are getting everything that we needed to get done done..and I am tan as hell! I know you were all wondering about that so rest easy friends..

In Winthrop We Meet Again

Heading towards Monmouth
We had a great turnout and a great ride last Saturday in Wayne.  Our thanks to Ray and Jane Giglio for another great route, which included some outstanding views of Androscoggin Lake, Mt. Pisgah, old windmills and grain silos, long climbs and fast descents, and a post-ride stop at Tubby's Ice Cream.  A most enjoyable ride.  This week we will kick off the month of August with a classic ride from Winthrop on Saturday.  We'll see you then!
Saturday, August 4th - WINTHROP
"Lakes and Orchards" - a tour through Winthrop and Monmouth.
START:  9:00 AM at the Winthrop Town Boat Landing on Maranacook Lake, near the gazebo on Coady Street, off of Memorial Drive.  If the boat landing parking lot is full, there are additional spaces around the corner on Summer Street, lakeside.
DISTANCE:  18 or 24 Miles.
TERRAIN:  Rolling, with a few stiff hills.
HIGHLIGHTS:  Back roads beside rolling orchards, lakeside summer camps, small hidden hamlets.
LEADER:  Jim Merrick.

Not white? Go Somewhere Else.....

The First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, has told a black couple they can't get married in their church because...they're black.

Let me explain a couple of things. I was raised in the Baptist church and I can tell you from years of experience that Baptists are some of the meanest people alive. I'm not talking about true believer's in the Christian faith, I'm talking about those who take on the name 'Baptist' but leave the rest of it by the roadside. When I was in the ministry pastoring Southern Baptist Churches, I was thrown out on the street over this same issue, but it didn't have anything to do with marrying blacks. No, it was far worse than that. I was pastoring an inner city church in Houston where the white population was in the vast minority. I would have had to bus white people in to build up the all white congregation. Instead, I was looking to minister to those within the immediate sphere of our effectiveness. When the blacks and hispanics started to show up for services, I was shown the door. I was thrown out on the street by a Baptist church in Dayton, Texas because I refused to fire our music director over the types of songs he was choosing to sing. Since they were not satanic in nature, did not involve lyrics pertaining to rampant, unbridled sex, and weren't trying to instigate mass murder...I didn't see the problem. When pastoring a church in Moss Hill, Texas; after we recorded one of the greatest revivals in Southern Baptist recent memory, we discovered my wife was pregnant with our second child. The parsonage we lived in had no cabinet doors in the kitchen. I asked the church to have cabinet doors installed for soon we would have a baby crawling around and might get inside and ingest something dangerous or get hurt in other ways. It would have cost a whopping $800. At the time, giving had increased 700% and we had more than a $10,000 surplus in the bank. They refused and advised that we just make sure and watch the kid so she didn't get into trouble. Baptists are mean people.

Secondly, we live in a time where pastors are more oriented toward their ministerial careers than they are their calling from God. I guess that's why I'm not in the ministry anymore. I was not willing to side with man when it was clear he was diametrically opposed to God per the scripture. I had an old mossback deacon tell me one day, and I quote..."You ain't gonna last long in this business until you learn to please people." I told him that in the first place I wasn't involved in a business, but a calling. In the second place, I had been called to please God, and not man. Yeah, Jesus was very interested in pleasing people. He pleased them so much they killed him. Ten of the original twelve disciples were so good at winning friends and influencing people, they were killed as well. The eleventh was a little better at it, as they only put him on an island of criminals in exile. Not all, but a lot of pastors in the Baptist community live in fear and do not stand like a lion. The reason is because, first and foremost, they are cowards. But, Baptist churches are autonomous, in that there is no church heirarchy the membership has to answer to. They are self governing. If a pastor gets 'out of line', they can fire him on the spot with a vote according to the dictates of their policies. The average tenure of a Southern Baptist pastor is 18 months. The vast majority that are terminated from their pulpits are dismissed due to congregational conflict and not from some moral failing, scriptural discrepancy or some other Godless action. It's a travesty what is happening because there is a shortage of ministers but no shortage of mean Baptists.

Pastor Stan Weatherford is a coward. Some members of his congregation were vehemently against the marriage of this black couple in their church, even though they had been good enough to attend services there. It seems no black couple had been married in that church since its inception in 1883. Well, who wouldn't want to hold that sacred record intact? So, instead of standing up as a man of God, trusting God to take care of him if the church so chose to dismiss him, he fell on his knees and bowed to those who he felt held his career in their hands. In essence, he handed to them the spiritual authority that God himself had given him and gave it to the bigoted few of that assembly. He should resign and go sell used cars somewhere.

This church had a wonderful opportunity to turn another page in the long history of Mississippi racism and take another step in stamping it out. Instead, they took the path of evil and their gutless pastor allowed them to do so.

In my book, Why Pastors Die Young, which you can find on my website,, this is just one of the reasons men in the ministry are falling away to other careers. Being a pastor is a tough calling. One of the worst if it happens to be in the Baptist church. There are many good Christian Baptists. However, the bad ones seem to be the ones with the most say and the most power within each autonomous body that is out there. More is the pity. May God have mercy on these at the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs. They have lost their way....IF, they had ever found it to begin with.

Sympathetic, but...

Here's the official summary from yesterday's emergency Board of Fisheries meeting on the Cook Inlet setnetters.

"Board members were sympathetic to the setnetters affected by the closure, but were also concerned about the Chinook salmon escapement," the summary says.

Four rescued after vessel sinks at Dixon Entrance

The bad news is the fishing vessel Mary Kay is now under 600 feet of water near Dixon Entrance in Southeast Alaska.

The good news is all four crewmen were rescued safe and sound, the U.S. Coast Guard says.

The Coast Guard was notified at 10:46 p.m. Thursday that the 78-foot Mary Kay was taking on water off Cape Chacon.

Several vessels and aircraft responded to an urgent marine information broadcast.

An Alaska Wildlife Troopers skiff was among the first to arrive.

The Mary Kay crewmen were in survival suits in a raft.

The skiff took aboard the four survivors and transferred them to a good Samaritan fishing vessel, the North Wind, for delivery to Ketchikan.

Other responders included the fishing vessel Irish Rose, the state patrol vessel Enforcer, the Canadian Coast Guard cutter Bartlett and a Canadian aircraft.

Valdez wins, processor loses

Here's an Alaska Supreme Court opinion that seems to very much favor the city of Valdez in a dispute with Sea Hawk Seafoods.

The Gun

Well, I'm taking a big step today. I'm handing my most prized firearm over to a gunsmith. I would be more willing to turn my wife over to a witchdoctor, but I digress.

Back in 1972, my dad's old Datsun pick-up was near death. He had put more than 200,000 miles on it and decided it was time to be sold so he could get another one. It was still somewhat red, but over the years it had faded a bit. He sold it to an old boy for $100 and an M1, .30 caliber semi-automatic Carbine. The U.S. military had bought more than 6 million of them in the '40's, and for a time my dad had carried one in the Pacific Theatre during World War II as a United States Marine. It came with a five shot clip and two ten shot clips. He gave it to me and told me how it was just like the one he had when he was in the war, minus the sling and the oiler.

I killed my first (and only) deer with that gun. An eight point buck that dressed out 103 lbs. I shot him right between the eyes at 71 yards with a peep sight, at dusk and without my glasses on. Lucky shot? No doubt.

At the time, we lived way out in the country, more than half an hour's drive from near-civilization. Our dog was a huge german shepherd we named Zeus. He was a great dog. I loved him like a human being. Back then, there was no effective prevention for heartworms and he got infected. For the longest time he showed no ill effects, but eventually began to lose his equilibrium. Once a dog got heartworms back in those days, it was a death sentence. I came home from school one day while mom and dad were still at work. I found Zeus on the front porch. His lungs had ruptured from the damage of the worms. When he would inhale, all you could hear were gurgling sounds. When he exhaled, blood poured from his mouth. He was suffering terribly. This was before cell phones, and it would take either one of my parents more than an hour to get home. I had no money of my own to take him to the vet for the purpose of putting him down. Being such a big dog, I was afraid to use a smaller weapon to put him out of his misery, so I chose the Carbine. I cried for hours afterward.

When I worked for the Sheriff's department in a rural county, my partner and I conducted a felony stop of two men who were considered armed and dangerous. It was after midnight and we were on a lonely, country road. They pulled over and jumped out of the car, yelling..."What the f*** is your problem?" Once they saw me crouched behind the passenger door of the cruiser with the Carbine laid over it and trained on them, they suddenly got real respectful for what our problem was.

I've never checked to see how old the gun is. From what I see on the internet, it can sell for anything between $850 to $1350. You see, it's considered a collector's item, now. Being a gift from my dad, who died back in 1999, and with it having so much personal history behind it, I am reluctant to let it out of my gun safe and into someone else's hands. However, my being in Europe and Africa over the last four years has meant its neglect. The action is very sluggish and the casing ejection mechanism is failing. I need to have it repaired, cleaned and oiled, and brought back to its old glory. I guess I would sell it if someone paid me enough to retire and make sure my next three generations were taken care of. Anything less wouldn't be considered.

So, I guess I'll keep the gun. It reminds me of a dad's generosity, the thrill of the hunt, sometimes doing what a man has to do, and how at certain times it can protect me and those with me from harm. It's a piece of history that can remind me of what it took to make sure our country remained free from tyranny. It's the epitome of life lessons and historical perspectives. How can you put a price on that? I sure hope this guy takes good care of it. I won't relax until I get it back. As a sidenote, I've ordered a sling and an oiler to mount on it so it will look just like one of them did back in the war. After that, it will go back in the gun safe, under lock and key.

What the Doctor Ordered

A Good Crowd at the Start in Sidney

With great weather and great roads ordered up by the good doctor, Jim Putnam's annual Fourth of July ride always attracts a good crowd. Traditionally on Fourth of July weekend, this year the ride was held on June 30, proceeding a mid-week 4th.

Heading out from the James H. Bean Elementary School on Middle Road on the first leg of a "figure 8" route, we climbed up and over the interstate to pick up the West River Road heading north.
Riding through Farmland on West River Road

Both Middle Road and West River Road provide long, flat straightaways, perfect for cruising or hammering, whichever suits your fancy.

Stepping up the Hills on Trafton Road

Of course, when you have two flat roads that parallel, it figures that you have to do some climbing to cross over from one to the other, and getting back to Middle Road meant we had to first tackle some hill work.

Chasing Shadows

The route flattened out again as we made our way back to Middle Road and the Bean School, chasing shadows a good part of the way. The second part of the ride took us past fields and bogs, down through Sidney to North Augusta, where we turned up Rt. 27 to Rt. 23, picking up the first real traffic on the ride.

Heading Back on the Return Route

We soon left the traffic behind, turning off on Quaker Road, where we encountered a hill that would make anyone quake. The climb was rewarded with a sweet downhill run, and from there it was only a series of low hills back to the start. Another great Fourth of July ride, regardless of the calendar, and just what the doctor ordered.

Climate and fish sticks

Here's an intriguing article from NOAA examining the effects of a warming climate on Alaska's huge Bering Sea pollock fishery.

"Warmer conditions could force fishery managers to lower Alaska pollock quotas over the long term, which means by mid-century, fish sticks — at least as we know them today — might become less economical," the article says.

Cook Inlet setnetters denied in bid to fish

Multiple media outlets are reporting the state Board of Fisheries today decided to take no action on several petitions to allow salmon setnetters to resume commercial fishing on Cook Inlet's east side.

Who knows. Perhaps a court challenge is next?

Since When is Disagreement Discrimination?

Rahm Emanuel, the illustrious and dishonourable mayor of Chicago, has come out and said that he will try to thwart another Chick-fil-a franchise from being built in Chicago until the company comes out with an anti-discrimination statement about gay marriages. WHAT?

All the founders of the restaurant have said is that they do not believe in gay marriage. Has it gotten to the point that simple disagreement with another person, group, race, creed, religion, or lifestyle is lawlessness or hate? I am incredulous at the Left who supposedly preach openness and acceptance and freedom for all, yet denounce anyone with enough gall to disagree with what they think others should agree with.

I am a Christian. Does that mean that I am against non-Christians?
I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Does that mean I don't think homosexuals should exist?
I love roses. Does that mean I hate petunias?
I find other women attractive. Does that mean I don't love my wife?

We could go on and on about this and twist it any way you want to. Americans should be able to express their beliefs without backlash from those who are diametrically opposed to those beliefs. It is a well known fact that Emanuel is for same sex marriage. Okay. That's his right. In fact, he can run for any office he wants to and say whatever he likes. I don't mind. Just as long as I get the same privilege. You're for it, Rahm. Cool. I'm not. What are you going to do? Have my blog taken down? It wouldn't surprise me if you tried.

He's also for increased gun control. But not when it pertains to his personal security detail. Funny how all the left wing, diehard, socialistic morons who are running portions of this country have armed guards but don't want us to have the same ability to protect ourselves. What does that tell you about how well the rest of us are regarded by the Left?

Get a grip on reality, people. Not everyone is going to agree with you, even when it makes sense that they least to you. We are a diverse nation of peoples. It isn't hate speech for me to say that I'm against same sex marriage. I am. That will never change about me. Am I going to go protest when a couple of gays get married if and when it becomes law? No. Am I going to write scathing blog posts about the insanity of it all? No. I just think it's creepy and the biological equipment isn't there to support it. The history and customary viewpoint just isn't there. I don't want to wake up to someone that has just as much hair on their body as I do. And, it's strange to me that anyone else would. However....HOWEVER....I have never treated the homosexuals I've encountered any differently than I would someone else. And if it becomes the law of the land, I will abide by it just like I have the Roe vs. Wade case. I have never picketed an abortion clinic or shot at an abortionist. I pray for the women who think they have to do that and I also pray for the abortionist because he has no place in my theology. But, that alone doesn't make me a hater. It doesn't make me a discriminator. It makes me a disagree-er. And, quite frankly, I can disagree with whatever damn thing I want to. This is still America...for now.

Ordinary is Underrated

What's wrong with being ordinary? It's a question I ask myself quite a lot whenever I see the tabloids hanging on every movement of those that have been dubiously crowned as 'elite'. If there wasn't a market for exposing every blemish, every pregnancy, every affair for the vast anonymous public out there to consume, the tabloids and the paparazzi wouldn't exist.

At one time I thought we had reached the apex of technological goofiness, and then Twitter came along. Tweeters and the tweets they send out are received by 'followers'. Why should any of us care when Jennifer Aniston tweets she has a zit? What difference does it make that Jason Alexander tweets he is for more gun control? Who would pay attention to Jason Alexander about anything? But there are those who aspire to be as close to fame as they can, any way they can.

Blogs like this, for example, can have 'followers'. I don't want any followers (not that I would get any). This is a way for me to pound out my thoughts. I have no problem with people reading this, and I have no desire to attract 'followers'. If anything, I would like to motivate people into being leaders. There are enough 'followers' in this world. In fact, there are too many.

Our latest psycho / killer / soon to be death row initiate in Colorado wanted to be famous. Instead, he's infamous. But, people exist in this world that don't care what kind of Number One they become. Some want to be the Number One loved person in the world, and then there are those who realize they can't aspire to that level and choose to be the Number One hated person in the world. HEY! At least they're number one. Right?

American Idol, America's Got Talent, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, are engines that drive people to reach for the stars of fame or the quick buck and maybe have a few minutes of being on TV. All the reality shows are full of people who just want to be on TV. And, millions of Americans tune in to see what the latest idiot is doing in the swamp or in Jersey or on some deserted Island trying to survive being voted off by the other twerps. Remember, if there wasn't a market for it, there wouldn't be a show or article or photograph about it.

So, is it a disadvantage to be ordinary? Is it a crime to be a faceless member of a crowd? What's so bad about people's lives that they show such an interest in someone else's life that wouldn't spit on them if they were on fire? I just don't get it. With fame you lose your anonymity. No longer can you go into a restaurant and not be noticed. You know, there's value in being anonymous. With fame comes money, and then come the hanger's on that once were like you....wanting to be with someone famous....that drain you of your soul, spirit, self-worth, and eventually your bank account. When you're famous, there are thousands of people who want a piece of you and attack like piranha.

When a movie came out that Elvis Presley wanted to see, he had to rent the entire cinema and go late at night for a private screening. Only his closest associates and friends were with him, and it had to be kept quiet that he was coming to the theatre. After what happened in Colorado, this isn't such a bad idea, but back in those days it was safe to go see a movie (still is, in my opinion). Can you imagine the crowd outside the cinema if the news had gotten out that Elvis was going to be there? He was a prisoner inside his vault of money and fame. He had no life like ordinary people have. You lose a goodly amount of personal freedom when you become famous.

Me? I write books and hope to be wealthy one day. It is possible to be rich and not famous. I can do without the fame. Just throw money. I have no desire to have my face plastered on the television or to have papparazzi following me around everywhere or to have my 'followers' panting with anticipation to receive my next tweet. I don't tweet, by the way. Never will. What I want to do is write a book that about a million people want to read. Not because of me, but because they like the story. That will result in me getting to my goal. The American Dream. Will it happen? Probably not. All my life money has seemed to run from me like a scalded dog. I am doing well right now, financially; but I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. Rich is where you can throw away your alarm clocks and wake up naturally every morning if God so wills you get another day. That's my definition of rich. I haven't gotten there yet, but I'm working on it.

In the meantime, relax in being ordinary. Ordinary is a good thing. In fact, it's something to not only be proud of, but to be thankful for. Ordinary people is what makes this nation great. Not those hacks in Hollywood who live lives that are just as make believe as their movies. It is the ordinary where we usually find extraordinary things and actions. Three men in Aurora, Colorado threw themselves in front of their girlfriends to save their lives. Up until that moment, these were ordinary men. They ended up sacrificing their lives to save others. I call that outstanding behavior. These men didn't want to be famous. They just wanted to watch a movie. In the end, they have captured the imagination of an entire country. I will say this. Kudos and a big HATS OFF to Christian Bale for visiting the victims in the hospital. Maybe there is some 'ordinary' goodness in some of those Hollywood guys after all. So, remember...ordinary is a good thing. Fame is not. From what I've seen in the history of famous lives, it sucks the life right out of them. Goodnight Marilyn, Janis, Jimi, Elvis, Michael, Jim Morrison, et al. See what I mean?

Board of Fisheries to meet on Cook Inlet salmon

The Alaska Board of Fisheries will hold an emergency teleconference at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow to consider a petition regarding Upper Cook Inlet salmon setnetters.

State fishery managers have shut down eastside setnetters because of poor Chinook salmon runs into the Kenai River.

That's costing the setnetters big time, as their target sockeye crop is swimming by unharvested.

Here's the public notice of tomorrow's board teleconference.

"The petition requests that setnet fishing in the East Forelands statistical area of Cook Inlet be opened to help keep the Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon escapement within the range set by regulation," the notice says.

Here are comments on the petition from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Super random pics from Sauve fest and Roman Arena and stuff...

Here are some pics of Medieval fest and some at the Crumbs house and a bunch of my friend Erin and I at the roman arena in Nimes which is amazing and at the waterfalls in Ganges and just basically being in a beautiful place having a lot of fun..heading to Marseilles Friday for the weekend and not London where the freaking Olympics is making it horrible there i've heard..

The Wayne Refrain

Setting Out on Another Leg Back to Wayne
We had another fine ride from Gardiner on July 15. although due to temperatures well up in the 90s we decided to cut the ride short a bit.  It was a great ride with very little traffic - maybe it was too hot for the air-conditioned bohemoths?  Our thanks to Geology Joe for another great improvised ride.  Word is that the BCM Lobster Ride last Saturday was such a success, they had to close registration before the ride even started!  And the gorgeous weather looks like it will continue this weekend, when we will meet again in Wayne for the Wayne Refrain around Androscoggin Lake, with a possible post-ride stop at Tubby's Ice Cream.  Don't refrain from showing up!
Saturday, July 28th - WAYNE
"The Wayne Refrain - Androscoggin Lake Loop" - a loop of Androscoggin Lake, with a couple detours for special Wayne sights. 
START: 8:30 AM, at the Wayne Elementary School, Pond Rd (turn north from Rt. 133, just west of Wayne village; go 1/4-mile, park in lot at north end of bldg.)
DISTANCE: 26 miles
TERRAIN: Moderately hilly
HIGHLIGHTS:  beginning loop goes by the Wayne Ring cemetery (Pond Rd) and the Wayne Desert (Berry Rd).  Great views eastward in Leeds (Rt. 106).  A detour near the end climbs Morrison Heights for a beautiful view westward over Lake Androscoggin.  Food and ice cream at Tubby's at the finish, and if before noon, grocery shopping at the adjacent Wayne Farmers' Market.
LEADER:  Ray Giglio.

Back in the Day, Part 2

Please take a look at the last paragraph of my previous post, Back in the Day. Then, read the headlines today about the Colorado shooter's parents. Did I call it, or did I call it?

The parents have come out and said they are going to support their son. They said they are going to stand by him. Their lawyer, when pressed, said, "Of course...he's their son."

(Loud Game Show Buzzer indicating WRONG ANSWER!!!!)

What??!!!  This is what I was talking about in the first Back in the Day post. Right or wrong, demon or angel, killer or non-killer, we're going to stand behind our son and support him??? No matter what??

My parents loved me, nurtured me, protected me and provided for me. I was allowed to get away with a lot of stuff. But it was annoying stuff. It was being a smart mouth, a slob, a poor student at times, getting drunk, etc. But Dad told me one time that if I ever got thrown in jail, I better not waste my first phone call by phoning home. Their philosophy was, if I was grown enough to get myself thrown in jail, I was grown enough to get myself out.

Little Jerkwad from San Diego doesn't have to worry about that. Mommy and Daddy are packed and on their way to Aurora to stand behind their Little Jerkwad from San Diego. AND, they're doing it because....he's their son.

Let me tell you who they should be standing with and supporting. The twelve families who lost loved ones because their spoiled rotten little brat, the Jerkwad from San Diego, decided he wanted to go kill a lot of innocent people. They should be standing with and supporting the 58 families and victims that their spoiled rotten little brat, the Jerkwad from San Diego, decided to go off and shoot indiscriminately and with no good reason. THAT'S who they should be standing with. If these were MY parents, they would be disowning me at this moment, declaring me as evil as Satan himself, and helping the police and those families as much as possible. And you know what else?? They would be right in doing so.

You don't support someone just because there is a biological, familial connection. You don't support mass murderers. EVER! For any reason. ANY.

"Oh...poor little Johnny. He was always so misunderstood."
"We never spanked little Johnny. Dr. Spock said it would ruin his ability to cope."
"Time out! Time out! TIME OUT!"

You know what my 'Time Out' was? The belt. That was my time out. After two or three of those, I got the message. I didn't want anymore Time Outs, so I followed the rules. The rules were, Dad ruled, then Mom ruled and me and my brother had no say about who ruled. Pretty simple set-up if you ask me; and one didn't have to be overly intelligent to figure out the pecking order or how one lined up on the Totem Pole of rulership. Since I was the baby of the family, I was at the bottom. I got the used furniture. I got my brother's old clothes. I got his old stereo. Hell, I didn't get anything new except for Christmas and my birthday. Maybe I should go out and kill a bunch of people because I never got any new stuff. Sheesh.

Plus, these parents of the Jerkwad from San Diego won't say they're sorry about what happened. Now, I don't blame them. They didn't actually pull the trigger. I'm pretty sure they subsidized him, because even with the money I make I can't afford weapons like that, much less 6000 rounds of ammo. In fact, when I read that, I took an inventory of my ammo. I don't even have a thousand rounds, and would need to open my wallet to even get to that figure. Here's what they should say:

"We are deeply outraged over the senseless brutality that occurred in your town. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with all the victims. There is nothing we can say to ease the grief you are experiencing. However, know this, we stand by you and we support you, and you alone."

Then, the daddy of the Jerkwad from San Diego needs to go to the jail and say this:

"Son, you will start cooperating with the police. There is no doubt you did what they say you did and you need to be a MAN and take account of it. If that means you spend the rest of your life on death row, then that's what it means. You forfeited your future when the first person in that theatre died at your hand."

That's what a real father and a real man would do. But NOOOOOOO. We stand by him because he's our son. No, once he became a murderer of innocent people on that scale...that's all he would have become to me. A murderer. Shame on them. Shame on them from here to eternity for the stance they have taken. If I were the city of Aurora, I would tell them to re-pack their bags and go back where they came from. I would say, "We got this handled. GET OUT."

Breakfast on 17

Heading up Rt. 201 to North Augusta
Despite some stormy weather forecast, a sizable group of diehards gathered at 8 am at the Hussey Elementary School in Augusta on June 23rd for the promise of a bike ride and the prospect of breakfast - enough to trump any forecast. The route took us out through residential neighborhoods and up Rt. 201 towards North Augusta. Normally busy during the week, traffic was quite calm early on a Saturday morning, and the wide shoulder made it easy to avoid any irregular pavement and broken glass.

No Traffic, Wide Shoulder

The route was copied from the original, designed by Connie Brown, who was unable to make the ride this year. I saw no reason to change any part of the route, although since I got lost on the ride the year before (and I can get lost just about anywhere, anytime) I decided to leave nothing to chance and went out and arrowed the route. I have been on an arrowing kick since I learned of the passing of the legendary Dan Henry, the patron saint of bicycle route marking, earlier this year in March. And I found some great paint cheap at Marden's.

One of Many Long Stretches

We soon left the numbered route and headed east on Stevens Road to Church Hill Road - both with nice, long stretches of low traffic and distant hills.

Climbing up Rt. 3 in Formation

To work up an appetite for breakfast the route took us up some long hills on Rt. 3, where we had to contend with some traffic, but once again had a wide shoulder to ride on. After a few miles we turned off onto Bolton Hill Road where we had a nice long descent.

A Back Road in Chelsea

Remarkably, most of the route, as rural as it was, remained within the city limits of Augusta with a short section in neighboring Chelsea. For a good part of the way we managed to stay together as a group until towards the end of the ride when we began to spread out. Plans were to detour up Rt. 17 for breakfast at Rebecca's Place, but the prospect of thunderstorms convinced many to simply return to the start.

 Rebecca's, as it turned out, was OK, but it definitely wasn't as nice as Connie's. If breakfast wasn't the highlight of the trip, the ride getting there certainly was. A Capitol ride in every respect.