Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Skewed Religious Ideas

Yesterday I'm on my way to work and I noticed the bumper sticker on the truck in front of me. "God bless our troops" was the first line.  I'm good with that, our soldiers need all the prayers and blessings they can get.  It was the second line that disturbed me "Especially the snipers".  WTF?  God does not support or bless killing.

Over the centuries, way too many wars, murders and crimes have been committed in the name of religion.  God doesn't "hate" anyone, he doesn't condone murder, war or abuse in any way.  Nor does he support those who instigate those things in his name.  However, God does, in his infinite mercy and grace forgive those who use him and his name to oppress the innocent, harm the weak and wage war based on hate.

Please stop using God to justify your mean spirited feelings.  If you have negative feelings for a group of people, be honest, name it and claim it and STOP justifying it with religion.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Harley Demo Rides with Friends

This morning we met up with a friend of ours and headed out to one of the local Harley dealers where the demo fleet was doing rides for a few days.  I have to say that I have never been a big fan of Harleys for a couple of reasons.  First, I'd been a passenger on a few Harleys and always felt as if my fillings were going to jarred right out of my teeth.  Second, the practical side of me knows that they are over priced because you're paying for the name.  Often you can get a metric cruiser of equal caliber for considerably less than what you would pay for a bare bones Harley.  Finally, I'm not a designer kind of gal, it doesn't matter to me what label is on my possessions as long as they fit and serve me well.  So I don't "need" a Harley to be a biker.

All that being said, before today, my only other experience riding a Harley was a demo ride on a V-rod several years ago at the AMA conference in WV.  Back then the V-rod was so different from the standard Harley that it almost wasn't a Harley, in fact, some dyed in the wool HD riders looked down their noses at the V-rod, saying it wasn't "really" a Harley.  Anyway.......

The lines for the demo rides were pretty short today because the big shindig was yesterday, so we were able to ride pretty much whatever we wanted.  Right away I was drawn to the Street Bob for the lines and color scheme.  Unfortunately, I think it's intended for a shorter rider because when my feet were on the pegs, my knees felt as if they were under my chin.  Looking around, the next bike that got my attention was the Wide Glide so that was my first demo.

Starting the Wide Glide I got the expected vibration although not quite enough to unseat my fillings.  What I didn't expect was how quickly the bike got up and moved as I eased out the clutch.  That was a nice surprise since I expected a clunky slow start.  The bike was amazingly well balanced with plenty of umph and responded well to every rider input.  Highway speeds were a bit different without a shield but the ride was smooth and enjoyable.

After returning to the dealer, I looked around at the other bikes for demo and kept being drawn to one particular bike.  I was hesitant to ride it because of the rather large fairing and floorboards on it, I had never ridden a bike with floorboards or a fairing like that and felt a bit intimidated by it.  Eventually desire won out over intimidation and I signed up to ride the CVO Street Glide.  What a sweet ride!  Smooth, considerably less vibration than the Wide Glide and handled like a dream.  The floorboards would take some getting used to as would the heel/toe shifter, the fairing was no issue as all.  The only thing that didn't work for me on this bike was the width of the seat which bothered my hips when putting my feet down at a stop.

I still love my VTX and I'm not ready to give her up, however for the first time, I can actually see myself on a Harley.  Don't look for that to happen any time in the near future my friends, I still don't believe I can get past the sticker shock.  Yet if someone gave it to me I wouldn't turn it down :-)

All in all it was a really fun time with Scuter and Deb with an early dinner afterwards.   Great time catching up and riding together again.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blurbs on Unrelated Topics

The Economy
Almost daily I hear or see someone comment on the poor state of the economy.  Often these comments are followed with one pertaining to President Obama's failure to turn everything around.  In this time of instant gratification many of us have a difficult time with not getting what we want right now.  Our economy is in a sad state, that is true, however, it didn't get there overnight and it won't be fixed overnight.  It took the previous administration two terms to get us where we were when that administration finally ended.

Stop and think about it, let's say you have a decent job and modest savings  when suddenly your spouse/partner goes on a spending spree.  This partner spends all the cash on hand, empties your savings account and runs up all your credit cards.  After you're in dept up to your eyeballs, this spouse/partner says "See ya!" and leaves you.  Maybe this has happened to you or to someone you know, it happens frequently to every day people.  It takes a long time to crawl out of this hole.  How long usually depends on the depth of the whole you've been thrown into, but in any case, it doesn't happen in the blink of an eye.

Now, let's say you with your decent job and salary is our government and the spouse/partner is George W. Bush.  Would it not stand to reason that it would take the current administration more than 2 years to climb out of the hole dug by the previous administration?  Granted, things aren't getting better as quickly as we would all like but they are getting better.  Don't lose hope, to borrow a favorite phrase from our former president "stay the course" and things will get better bit by bit.

Be Careful What You Wish For
Back in the day, when I was an adolescent in the 70's and easily embarrassed by the numerous TV ads for various feminine hygiene products, my peers and I often bemoaned the fact that boys didn't suffer the same embarrassment.  After all, back then the only thing they occasionally advertised was a product called (if I remember correctly) Blue Star ointment, an anti-itching product which was recommended for, among other things jock itch.  Hardly the equivalent to the bombardment of Stay Free, Kotex, FDS, and Summer's Eve commercials.

Now, fast forward 30 years.  We are now watching TV on hundreds of channels via cable and satellite.  We are even streaming satellite radio in our vehicles.  We've gone from wired phones to cordless phones to cellular bag phones to smart phones.  We've gone from handwriting to typewriters to word processors to computers to surfing the Internet.  We have gone from being bombarded by commercials for feminine products to commercials for "E.D."

In case you didn't know, "E.D." is the polite way of saying erectile dysfunction, in other words the inability for a male to get it up.   Nothing personal, guys, frankly I'm glad there is something out there to help you out if you need it but do I have to hear about it every 15 minutes?  Is nothing private anymore?  Back when I was a kid and bemoaned the injustice of all those feminine commercials, I had no idea what the future held.  Be careful what you wish for, one never knows what will happen in 30 years.