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Fireworks - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Fireworks
For some reason, there was a large fireworks display near our house. At first I thought I heard the gunfire I'd been conditioned to expect living in places like Oakland and Vallejo in California. But it was too loud. So I went outside to watch, seeking a brief respite from the taut atmosphere inside the house, where my partner was -- and is -- working on an extremely tedious portion of what is already an extremely tedious task. Even though I was enjoying the show, I still felt bad for her. I often stay up late grading, which hardly qualifies as an activity I derive pleasure from, but it still beats the sort of detail work she's doing right now. And that means that the danger of indoor fireworks is high, as will surely be the case for most of the month to come. It's hardly an auspicious beginning to the new year. On the other hand, there's always the chance that 2007 will turn out to be better than 2006. To be honest, it wouldn't take a lot. While 2006 was marginally better than 2005, both years rank towards the bottom of my list. The period from 1978-1982 was my previous low point, a stretch in which I lost both my paternal grandparents and paternal aunt, had to move from a place I loved to a place I could barely stand, and was forced to attend two new schools at the worst possible time in my adolescence. The last two years have had more happy moments than that period, certainly, but have also been full of professional and personal stress that I was immune to in my junior-high years. At least I've managed to stay healthy so far this winter, which is more than I can say for the previous two. I'm sure my late-night bicycle riding has been a factor, so my first resolution is to continue working to improve my respiratory system through exercise. I should probably take a break tonight, though, given the likelihood of there being inebriated drivers on the roads. Stay tuned for my "Year in Music," which I will be posting later today. And, lest I forget, "Happy New Year!"

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Current Location: 85704

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Comments
flw From: flw Date: January 1st, 2007 07:41 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

???

I would absolutely LOVE to join you on a late night bike ride in 2007. I must warn you though, that you would probably blow my doors off. My bike doesn't have doors, I meant it figuratively. I am not in super bike riding shape. I think two sets of eyes (and blinkers) on the road at night beats one set. I wouldn't want to ruin your ride, if you had a speed thing going...

Happy New Year. 2006 was (hands down) the calmest and least stressful year of my life. I am learning to live without the stress (and excitement) of crisis after crisis. The hard part is: Don't create crisises. Also, avoid spelling the plural of crisis.

One thing I've noticed now that I am not young is that exercise makes a HUGE difference in how happy and content I am. I am really very angry at my gym teachers in High School for whom exercise and sports where methods for filtering the weak from the strong, and excuses for the strong to humiliate the weak. I wasn't among the weak, but witnessing the... uh... Dialectic (am I using that rightly?) go down made it seem like Hell to be on either side of it. Why the Hell would I want to be a jock? They're such assholes! The gym teachers should've been emphasizing becoming familiar with your body and your breathing and learning to recognize when you are pushing yourself and when you are injuring yourself... all those things I had to learn on my own without any help. All those guys did was side with the jocks in the game of humiliate the nerds. And they have this great potential to teach meaningful life-long lessons.

Give me two more, scumbag!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 1st, 2007 08:45 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ???

You're so right about the wrongs of K-12 physical education pedagogy. Teaching awareness of breathing and heart rate should come before anything else.

I'd love to go for a ride with you. But be forewarned that my mountain bike, though ostensibly a 15-speed, actually has only one speed. I can only get it into high gear on a steep downhill slope, so I just leave it there. As my friend who is riding seriously noted, "You're not really riding a bike; you're weightlifting."

Whatever. It works for me, even if the going is slow.
flw From: flw Date: January 1st, 2007 12:59 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ??? Huh??? Uh! Wha?

That is really, really bad, actually. I didn't believe it until I started keeping the gears low and my pace constant. Let the bike do the work (gear low and pedal at a brisk, constant rate) and you never get tired. Seriously! You can go for hours. And it's not like you're not exercising, you are. Your heart rate gets up to a high and you can keep it there almost indefinitely. It's really quite incredible. I too, used to wonder, "Why is this gear the highest gear? I have no trouble pedalling in the highest gear at all!"

I forget what the bike guys call it (Grinding? maybe?). When I bought my latest bike the guy warned me about it. He was really knowledgable and watched me ride around the parking lot. He told me, "It should never really be too hard to pedal, if you feel you have to strain or grunt, gear down. Make the gears do the work. Don't hurt yourself..." etc, etc... At first it seems like using low gears is the "easy way", and it is easier, but you are actually getting a lot more done. I think it is a common misconseption among people who are new or inexperienced at exercising that it has to hurt... the NO PAIN NO GAIN mentality. I knew a Vegan Weightlifter, and I worked out with him afew times in Pittsburgh (he was my Drummer, actually), he told me that the saying should be "No strain, no gain." Yes, ripping your muscles will cause you to bulk up, which is fine and dandy if you want to be one of those guys, but do you want to be one of those guys? Hell No!

That's when I formulated my theory that one of the tenets of exercise should be to increase your body awareness...

Anyway, I am sure you've heard it from the bikers. Get your bike fixed! They aren't that difficult to fix. I bet I could do it. I bet the cable just needs tensioning. have you tried that? If you're stuck in high gear... you're just punishing yourself for no reason!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 1st, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ??? Huh??? Uh! Wha?

Well, you're right. The bikers are right. About biking. But my other motivation for weightlifting on wheels was to strengthen my thighs and knees for basketball-playing purposes. And it has worked, too. My legs are much, much stronger. The gear problem is more than that, I think. Maybe I should get another bike to use for "real" riding. I'd be amenable to help, though. Where do you live, BTW?
flw From: flw Date: January 1st, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ??? Huh??? Uh! Wha?

Down in the city. Very near to the corner of Alvernon and Speedway. Just northwest of the corner of Alvernon and Speedway, in fact, if you look on google maps, it is the first individual residence northwest of Alvernon and Speedway. Yep. That's me. We're headin' out for a walk. I'd be happy to fix your bike (or attempt to I am not bike experienced like I am car experienced... But bikes are very simple). I bet your bike-bike friends could do it, and bike places are actually cheap cheap on the repairs.
tommix From: tommix Date: January 1st, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
People fire guns in this part of Tucson, lest you think that we’ve has somehow escaped this time-honored tradition, but as with most Friday and Saturday nights, the gunfire started at 10:00 continued through past 12:00.

Why don’t more people die from gunshots in Tucson? I hear scary gunfire on most weekends, yet there never seems to be reports of people dying – it doesn’t sound like shooting in the air, like on New Years.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 1st, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's a good point. Maybe African-Americans have better aim?
flw From: flw Date: January 1st, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

that was me not "alsoname"

It's true. It's true. I'm a racist, I admit it. They are also better drivers. I have determined it by unquestionable personal observation (The evidence is indisputable, I've never been hit by a black person) and the law of inverse Asians... whatever Asians are lousy at (basketball, driving, sex, etc...) Black People must be good at... and vice versa (for math, social cohesion, etc...)
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