I just had a big fight, on Wreck-Free Sunday

Just to get things out in the open, Mrs. the Poet and I had a big fight, over the way my brain processes things now that I have brain damage.

The fight was over the way newspapers are placed on the table. I should mention that we subscribe to the paper on Wednesdays and Sundays, with additional papers at the discretion of advertisers. Mrs. the Poet was complaining she hadn’t finished reading Saturday’s paper when it was put in recycling. I told Mrs. the Poet that I didn’t even know we got a paper Saturday because every time I looked all I saw was Wednesday’s front page on the top of the pile. Mrs. the Poet said that I should just look through the pile if I wanted to see the current paper. My reply was if I don’t know there was a paper delivered that day how am I supposed to know to look through the pile for the new one? I mean for me this just makes common sense, put the newest paper on the top of the pile. There is even names for this, in computer terms it’s a LIFO stack, in physical terms it’s archeological filing. That way everyone knows when something new comes in because the top of the stack changes.

And this is stuff that would give problems to people who don’t have brain damage, and I have problems processing that I should deal with new data. I do the blog by following a set pattern of reading new messages in the Feed folder in my e-mail and filtering the links, then do the opening paragraph or sometimes two, then present the links with comments, then sometimes I have a closing paragraph. I have been using this format at least 5 days a week, down from 7, since shortly before this blog moved here in 2008. I had to change this format slightly when I was double-posting the blog to MySpace but after saying good-bye to them in January of 2009 the format and preparation has stayed pretty much the same since then. The only changes made has been dropping Sunday wrecks, then dropping Saturday posts completely after the RPG group moved start time up from 8PM (2000 hours) to gathering and setup at 1 (1300) and game at 2 (1400) which left no time to filter and post. But really I’m not dealing with anything “new” except the links, which aren’t “new” except for the information they contain. I do the same thing to the links every day, use the HTML for creating a link, copy and paste the URL in the proper place in the code, create the middle part of the link, then copy/paste the headline as the “title” of the link and close out the link tag. Add some cogent commentary and move to the next paragraph where I make a new link. If a bot could be taught to parse the headline from the code and text, and then make the cogent commentary I could be replaced with a few thousand lines of code, but the current State of the Art for AI hasn’t reached that point yet. When it does expect to see a new author for this blog, because I will pack it up and go on a long bike camping trip after I get my neck fixed.

And I almost forgot to mention for everyone to have a Happy Yule today.
Tree!

May your days (and tree) be bright!
More tree!

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

On a Friday dark and dreary as I pondered weak and weary, and the Feed

Don’t worry, there are no talking ravens or any other birds speaking to me here at Casa de El Poeta in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. It’s just a chill and grey day here. I’m actually wearing a shirt with my usual shorts and socks to fend off the chill, and I had to turn on the lights in the office/bedroom where I work. That’s how chill and grey the day is. The “weak and weary” part is up for speculation, but I submit for your consideration the lump on the back of my neck and the Rice Krispies noises coming from the muscles in the close vicinity of that lump. I’m getting tired of having my neck sounding like someone punching out a bowl of potato chips nearly every time I move it, does that fit the “weak and weary” part of the rhyme?

Up first, Y’all can stop sending me the links to this video now. Cyclist’s Camera Catches The Moment He Was Hit by a Deer and WATCH: Cyclist collides with deer during ride in California Also CHRISTMAS CONFLICT I have seen the links and the video. You know because I have posted them here. Stop sending me links to this video. PLEASE!

From the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike, why that is so in two articles. Collier County staffer suspended after threat to plow cyclist off road and Punishment issued for staffer who threatened cyclists The “staffer” basically threatened a cyclist with murder, so she got a paid vacation (leave with pay) before getting a few days off without pay and no jail time… And that’s another reason why FL is the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bicycle.

To go along with the threatened violence in FL, a teen convicted of attempting to assault a cyclist in OR is arrested in conjunction with shooting up a school in the same state. Teen involved in throwing bricks at bike riders implicated in high school shooting Violence against cyclists is not just “road rage”, it is violence, assault or attempted murder. And violence against cyclists that goes lightly punished or completely unpunished leads to violence elsewhere.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Arrest made in Anaheim hit-and-run; saddle up for Selle’s Christmas party in San Diego

One of the links mentioned in Ted’s post also showed up in the Feed. Opinion L.A.’s cyclists should need a special ‘info’ license in order to ride How about drivers should need a special license to drive in LA? Incidentally Gigi would love the comments section, the Stupid is strong with this bunch, except for Bill from SD…

Speaking of Stoopid… EFR tells riders to strive for helmet hair How about drivers should strive to not hit other road users? That would save about 30K people a year if 100% effective.

A driver right hooks a cyclist and complains about the traffic ticket? Halifax councillor fights traffic ticket The driver right hooks the cyclist she just passed and then leaves the scene and she’s fighting the ticket? I could give her 3 tickets and a felony charge if I was on the scene. She got off lucky.

Infrastructure! news from America’s Amsterdam. With or without Vision Zero, a safer Barbur might be an economic win What is the $value of a human life? Because they kill an average of 2 people a year on this stretch of road, reducing that by half would save the $value of that life in addition to the economic benefits.

It happened again. Cyclist left waiting over two hours for an ambulance after crash in central London Last time was about an hour and a half, so things are deteriorating for cyclists. Eventually they are going to be so late that a cyclist that would have lived dies from something that could have been caught had they gotten medical attention sooner.

FB page to a cargo HPV. Johanson3 SA

Another “safety” innovation that depends on you having the right kind of cell phone to work. Volvo to Demonstrate In-Car Cyclist Alert System at CES I’m sorry, but I can’t get behind or otherwise in favor of “safety” developments that are dependent on my having the right kind of ceel phone to protect me from a light armored vehicle.

E-assist fat bike for when you want to ride in snow or across loose sand. iGO Electric FatBike I never rode a fat bike, but they tell me they’re fun in the conditions I mentioned at the start of the paragraph.

And I seem to have run out of links again.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Celebrating Mrs. the Poet surviving another year, and the Feed

Today is Mrs. the Poet’s birthday. She’s a bit on the old side having memory of all the characters on “The Howdy Doody Show” from when it was on TV the first time. I’m only old enough to remember the Captain Kangaroo premier and JFK’s funeral on TV, Howdy Doody is just a bit before my time. Actually I could have remembered that show except for being out of the country when it was on… Anywho, we celebrated with delivery chinese food and cheesecake, and I bought a special bottle of wine for Mrs. the Poet’s dinner. It cost a whole $0.75 at the corner grocery store ;) (and I paid for the dinner).

Shared with me from The Slow Bicycling Facebook group. LIMITED EDITION T-Shirt ONLY for Cycling Grandpa I’m the cool grandpa at the grandkid’s place because I ride a bike and give the kid a pedal car.

This bit of HiViz hardware was posted to the article about requiring pedestrians and cyclists to wear HiViz when walking/riding. Lifehammer emergency window breaker You think they’ll see that?

They caught the perps in a series of gang-related bike thefts. Arrest Made In Panhandle Cyclist Attacks This was armed juveniles stealing bikes, using swarm techniques.

It’s hard to solve a problem without getting a handle on exactly how big the problem is. DeFazio leads trio requesting GAO investigation into bike/walk safety I’m really hoping this is only the first step in reforming US transportation policy. not the last one.

Our Daily Ted is good news. Breaking news: LACBC hires Tamika Butler as Executive Director

Really need to work on one of the “E’s” of NYC infrastructure… Woman Fatally Run Over In The Bronx, Driver Not Charged Did you guess which “E” I’m talking about here?

In case you didn’t get the point from the previous paragraph. Unlicensed Driver Who Killed UES Pedestrian Gets $400 Fine, No Jail Time Seriously, if you can’t charge someone in illegal possession of a deadly weapon when they kill someone with it, WTF can you charge people with?

The “best” rail trail. New River Trail State Park

And those were all the links I could find for today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Seriously having trouble keeping my head on straight here, and the Feed

As announced earlier I no longer post links to bike wrecks here at WoaB. I started this because It was causing me “problems” in the rest of my life. I mean seriously, if there was something that was killing as many people as motor vehicles do every day, but say in larger numbers at a time instead of in singles and rarely doubles, then people would be screaming to “do something” about the deaths. Look at Ebola. There were exactly 3 people who died from Ebola in the United States, none of whom contracted the disease here. All of the people who contracted Ebola in the US have recovered. But for weeks all you heard or saw on the idiot box was Ebola and ISIS terrorists were going to kill us all in our beds. While all this was going on about 6000 people died from what is quaintly acronymed MVA and many tens of thousands more were injured to some degree from minor temporary inconvenience to long term hospital stay but full recovery to lifelong disability to “spend the rest of my life in bed unable to move and still be in constant pain”. Those last two add up to about twice as many people as died, so about 20000 people left dead or permanently crippled to some degree while 3 people died and a few more got sick and spent a few weeks in hospital or isolation. And all of the attention was on the 3 people dying and the few sickened instead of the twenty thousand killed or otherwise destroyed by something that we could actually do something about and stop the deaths and life-changing injuries. And people are still asking if I’m wasting my life on bicycles. So now you know why I’m having trouble keeping my head on straight in spite of no longer doing the bike wreck thing.

Up first is a response to the comments left on an article linked here a while back. Blame in the wrong place The letter is in response to comments that blame the cyclist for the wreck that was previously judged to be the criminal act of the driver in the video.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: CM Cedillo turns a deaf ear to pleas of bike riders, portraying cyclists as bullies from the 1%

Cycling in the city where my last full-tine job went. ‘Nobody cycles across Mumbai.’ But why?

Another link to a bike that depends on the model of phone you own to be fully functional. Dutch introduce first-ever ‘intelligent bicycle’ that warns of danger I’m not so sure I want a bike that would not give me everything I paid for unless it “liked” the phone I was using.

If the city won’t do it, DIY. Guerrilla traffic diverters installed – then removed – on SE Clinton Interesting that they didn’t have the money to install diverters, but less than 8 hours after the DIY diverters were set up they had been removed without even a meeting of the City Council?

And where does your state rank? 2014 BICYCLE FRIENDLY STATE℠ RANKING All I have to say in favor of TX is “Thank [DEITY] we are not living in Alabama!” Seriously 33rd out of 50 is appalling for a state that is constantly bragging about how “Great” they are. But considering that the city I live next to was “The Worst City for Bicycling In the US” just 4 years ago, being 33rd out of 50 is improvement. EDIT: How the Hell did we end up BEHIND Florida?

And I have run out of links again, yay!

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Mrs. the Poet’s retirement has made for her keeping me from working, and the Feed

I love my wife, I really do. BUUUT (very long “uh” sound there) she refuses to acknowledge what I do as “work” and is constantly telling me to stop “playing on the computer” and do what she wants me to do, basically denying the validity of what I do. I do not know what to say about this, especially at the time she says it because of my aphasia not leaving me with the vocabulary to respond. Sure I sound all glib and insightful in the blog, because I have the time to stop and think about it, lower my stress levels by meditating, and allow the words to flow out of my fingers bypassing my mouth. The process in and of itself is much less stressful than trying to actually speak with my wife making a rejoinder to a comment she made. As a result I’m frequently unable to respond with anything more cogent to her “playing on the computer” remarks with anything more than “Go away, I’m working here!”

Up first, the lowlife scum that hit a Miami cyclist with his vehicle so hard that the roof was collapsed around the driver’s head and then left claiming he “didn’t know” he had hit anyone violated his parole. Driver in Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash on the Rickenbacker Causeway Heading to Prison After Probation Violation and Driver Guilty In Cyclist’s Death Sentenced To Prison For Probation Violation When I saw one link I was thinking they were really looking to violate this guy, but then I read another link that said he had been checking in with Foursquare at bars and clubs, places he was not supposed to be and in violation of his parole, so he basically violated himself on this one. I hope he has a life-affirming moment in prison and never drives again. I was going to type something else, but then I stopped to think “Is what I want vengeance against this one idiot, or do I want a cultural change that keeps idiots like this from being able to hurt people because they lack the means to hurt people?” And I have to say that while vengeance against that idiot would make me feel better for a little while, making it so that idiots like him can’t hurt people would make me feel a lot better in the long run.

Next a little lifestyle from a little south of the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Round Rock memorial bike ride honors avid cyclist Killed in a wreck very much like mine in many respects, just trying to get where he was going and make a living.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Awkward cycle track in Marina, PCH closed at Point Magu, fight North Fig parking at City Hall

Trying to change the legal infrastructure in the land of the automobile. California Bicycle Coalition Announces Its 2015 Legislative Agenda

CA riders remember a fellow rider killed on an epic ride in OR. Riders finish avid cyclist’s last journey

Still in CA, I would love to see drivers held to the same standards as cyclists when motor vehicle infrastructure is discussed. Dick Spotswood: Marin bike lobby’s political clout is slipping Really, not another freeway or even a pothole filled until drivers stop speeding, running red lights, turning right on red through crowded crosswalks, driving on sidewalks to get around people stopped a red lights…

So, what about people who don’t have smart phones, like me? Tech solution for “dead red” lights

Bicycle advocacy in America’s Amsterdam. Guest Article: Four things BikeLoudPDX has learned in their campaign for SE Clinton

They’re starting to learn lessons from the Netherlands. Cycling reduces the death toll on our roads…

OK I don’t know if you will be able to read this or not, but if you can’t copy and paste the headline into a Google search and read it from there. There is at least one city determined to not kill it’s citizens. A Plan to Limit Cars in Paris Collides With French Politics

Another e-assist article. Bultaco Brinco Is a Really Interesting E-Bike, but Not Exactly Cheap I used to have a ‘taco motor in my shifter kart… I don’t think this one would work the same. I like that the pedelec mode has a 100 km range, but I’m thinking there isn’t much assist in that mode. I built a bike with a lot smaller battery that had almost that range but used a constant pedal cadence mode and powered cranks. It is somewhere in the garage which means archeologists will be the next people to see it. At least I hope it’s in the garage. If it isn’t that means I had another bike stolen and I won’t even be able to give the police an exact year, much less a time of day…

And those were all the links I could find today, enjoy!

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Hoping my words don’t stop again, and the Feed

Well yesterday’s post was an embarrassment. I just wasn’t sure if putting up the post was more embarrassing than not, but I put up a post every Sunday unless physically prevented from doing so. Nothing was physically preventing me yesterday, except the lingering effects of getting hit with a truck 13 years ago. So, you got a “post”. Also this morning I went on a quest for light, so that Mrs. the Poet would stop complaining about how dark it is in the bathroom, so I bought the dimmest possible LED lights that fit the fixture in the bathroom and filled every socket. The effects can be seen here.

Picture from another room with normal room lighting.Hat in normal light

Picture from the bathroom with all the sockets filled.same hat under the new bathroom bulbs

Notice how much light is reflected from the hat in the second picture. Both pictures are of the same hat. And same guy wearing the hat, but the less said about that, the better. The doctors did miracles putting my face back together, but they really didn’t have much to work with from before the wreck.

And I hit Publish instead of Preview to check to make sure both pictures came out, so some of you are looking at this and wondering where the Feed went. Sorry.

Up first are two links from Houston. Sentencing in Chelsea Norman case won’t end debate over cyclists, safety and Bikes, cars and Chelsea Norman’s death Those articles look very similar…

Another hit-and-run from the Show-me state this time. Woman Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Fatal Hit-and-Run The guy that was chasing her is still facing a murder charge…

The perp who ran into 4 cyclists riding on the opposite shoulder of a bridge approach is getting a great plea bargain, if she takes took it. N.H. woman accused of killing 2 cyclists must plead today The article is from Friday morning, and was posted in Saturday evening’s Feed. More N.H. woman in deadly bike crash to plead guilty

You know I can’t be quiet about this subject. Time to use your head and wear a helmet when cycling The head injury rate for drivers is higher than for cyclists, where are the articles about helmets for drivers? The article leads off with a story about a cyclist with great hair getting hit by a van and going into a coma. Note that he suffered life-threatening injuries to most of his body, and was only saved by the use of advanced medical techniques, but no mention was made of the lack of airbags and crumple zones on a bicycle, just the miraculous effects of wearing a magic styrofoam hat on a small part of your head.

Our Daily Ted. The Danger in Dog Day Afternoons

And finally a cop that knows the law. Ask a Phoenix cop: Who has right-of-way: bike or car? The answer is Yes, and It Depends.

I’m pretty sure my readers don’t buy bikes from big boxes, but you might tell your friends about this link. Major retailers put to safety test when building bicycles for kids I have worked on bikes that only had the pedals on finger tight, the CRANKS only on finger tight, brake cables, seat posts, and handlebars that were, you guessed it only finger tight. And tires that had about 5 pounds of pressure, that’s another common one…

And those were all the links I had today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

The annual Yule fight has begun, on Wreck-Free Sunday

One of the byproducts of the over-commercialization of Christmas has been the pushback of the acceptable decoration dates for both the first and last “acceptable” decorations going up. And as the “last” date moves closer to September the intensity of the annual fight over putting up the Yule decorations in Casa de El Poeta also increases, because my date hasn’t changed from what it has always been (12/20). I have been accused of many things because of this with “Grinch” being one of the kinder things. I’m sorry, but I’m firmly of the opinion that the “specialness” of a holiday gets less so as the dates of the holiday get moved further apart, and for me “Yule” starts 12/21 and ends 1/1 the next year. So, the decorations go up 12/20 and come down 1/2 AFAIAC. If that makes me a Grinch, then I’m a Grinch. Grinch, grinch, grinch, I’m being all grinchy. I still haven’t gotten the hang of being green and covered with fur like Oscar the Grouch, but I am embracing my grinchyness. When does Festivus begin?…

I really should be promoting my new hat some more. Not just because I really like it but because I have come to the realization that the magicks I placed on the first hat need to be stopped. I publicly declared the first hat as a double bird flipped at the guy that hit me and a “return to sender” of his intentions, and within a few months of making this public, the guy was dead by his own hand. Thing is I didn’t know that, so I subconsciously kept the spell going until the hat wore out completely, then bought another one that was almost identical and kept it until it wore out declaring it as “the replacement” for the first hat, which literally transferred the spell to it. So I have this spell working like mad with no target left alive, which is not good. So, very soon I will do a public ceremony where I burn the old hats and declare that spell at an end, and declare a new spell for the public good. The new spell will target the powers-that-be to generate some real (Dutch CROW manual) bicycle infrastructure for the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell.

New hat.New Hat

Old hat.Old Hat

There is a debate (of sorts) on the use of HiViz by cyclists. What do you think? Encouraging high-vis gear I think this is one step removed from victim blaming, but what do you think?

Today is one of those days that I have a concept running around in my head, but no words to attach to that concept. This is one of the facets of aphasia, the worst of them. Most of the time I just have a word or two that I have to track down inside my head and eventually I do that and finish the sentence and then the rest of the blog post. This time I lost the whole shooting match, a whole paragraph or more. And if you don’t think that’s frustrating, then you have never written for a living…

So, to save what is left of my dignity and sanity, I will cut it off right here rather than continue to beat my head against the biggest writer’s block in the world.

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet