Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reaction to proposed Koran burning doesn't faze Florida church - latimes.com

Reaction to proposed Koran burning doesn't faze Florida church - latimes.com

What on earth are these people thinking? Shouldn't this church be trying to encourage peace, especially with the "Dove" in their name? Being that the dove is a pretty universal sign of peace one would think they would "reach out" in peace not try to stir up more hate and violence.

This church is to Islam what Fred Phelps is to the GLBT community.

It never ceases to amaze me who a few people can capture the attention of the world with their hate and intolerance.

Assorted Tidbits, Stories and Opinions

I listen to talk radio a lot and on NPR they have a weekly series called StoryCorp. It is a series of recorded conversations between two people, usually but not always related. These stories are heart touching, from the couple talking about the husband's Alzheimer's, t0 an immigrant who was a plumber by day and a healer by night, to sisters who grew up on the "divorce ranch" in Reno, to a man who was at Stonewall when the NYC police raided it and the now famous Stonewall Riot happened and the man with the first bionic hand talking with his children. If you have never heard this show, I encourage you to check out either the podcasts or transcripts at NPR.org. If these stories don't touch your heart, I don't know what will.

Every time the TV or radio is on, someone is complaining about the economy, unemployment and the deficit. Now, I'm not saying these things do not deserve discussion because they do, however the issue I have with these complainers is that they 1) expect this will turn around overnight, that the damage which occurred over several years can be corrected in one or two years. And 2) shifting the blame from the previous administration to the current administration. This country was in a pitiful state, already in a deep recession, entrenched in a war we had no business starting and experiencing high levels of unemployment when President Obama took office. We didn't get here overnight, and it can't be fixed overnight. One thing is for sure, our service men and women are coming home from the war Bush started. Time is essential, we must keep moving forward and supporting our president.

Ride Like a Pro
I took the Ride Like a Pro class this past weekend. If you are a motorcyclist and think you know how to ride your bike, you need to take this class. You will not only learn things that you didn't know but you will learn how much you don't know and the value of practicing your skills to avoid getting killed. This is really a tough course, physically and mentally. While I didn't do all the exercises perfectly, heck, I doubt I did any of them perfectly, this class has definitely improved my riding, my confidence and taught me some valuable skills.

Bad Ass Bikers or Dumb Ass Bikers
So, to take the above mentioned course, we had to ride from Phoenix to Playa Del Rey, CA slightly less than 400 miles from our door to the hotel. Even though we left our home at 7 AM we still had to spend a great deal of time riding across the desert in broiling heat. Temperatures that day were about 109, add to the heat from the asphalt and motorcycle engines, and it was a tad toasty. We stopped several times to cool off and rest, pouring water over ourselves. At one particular rest stop, I simply stripped off my shirt and soaked it in the sink before leaving the ladies room. Just about the time we hit LAX the temperature dropped dramatically, maybe 40 degrees. That was more like it, of course, by then we were almost at our destination. The following morning was damp and foggy, a nice change for these desert rats and stayed that way until halfway through the morning class.

After the class we headed south to San Diego to meet family in comfortable to cool temperatures. We spend the night there then headed back to Phoenix via Yuma. After about 50 miles on the road, once again we were riding in the heat. Could that be why they call that area of I-8 Devil's Canyon? Again we battled the heat, one of the few thermometers we saw showed the temp at 106 before noon with the hottest time of the day still ahead. We didn't see too many other bikers this trip, maybe they had more sense than we had. Of course, the closer we got to home the worse the traffic became. On I-10 near 303 the traffic became stop and go, as we went from medium rare to well done to charred. Getting off the interstate we took the surface roads home which was slightly better.

Finally making it home and we first cooled off then jumped in the pool to lower our body temperatures to a more normal level. Through out this weekend we decided that we were either bad ass bikers or dumb ass bikers but weren't sure which, Maybe they are one in the same.