Thursday, October 27, 2011


Conflict has a place and a purpose but it is not always constructive.  Conflict can be a stepping stone to the resolution of differing opinions but it isn't always so.  Conflict is so very rarely a positive experience that it is not worth pursuing nor is it worth engaging in unless there is some way to be asbsolutely certain that compromise or an attitude of agreeing to disagree can be established.

Few conflicts are worth the effort.  When my son and I disagree about his behaviour, that is conflict but it is worth standing my ground because my ultimate goal is to teach him to modify his behaviour so that he lives a life of integrity.   Standing up to a bully is also conflict that has value.  Arguing over a parking stall has no value and no positive outcome and is a type of conflict that has no purpose.

If you choose to attempt to engage me in conflict, I will likely just walk away from you.  I will give you fair warning that I have no interest in conflict that has no worth, value or positive net outcome but if you persist in pushing our interaction into conflict I will simply leave you to your conflict and find something else to do.

Pick your battles and if you decide to fight, then fight to win but make sure it's worth fighting for.  I have no desire for conflict for no reason.  Take that BS somewhere else; maybe there's a crazy person driving around somewhere that can trade road rage with you.  Otherwise grow up and let's find ways to get along.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Tour Divide

1.The state of being seriously mentally ill; madness.

2.Extreme foolishness or irrationality.

The Tour Divide is arguably the hardest cycling event in the world, certainly it is the most difficult mountain bike race and because of its remoteness and insistance on being self reliant, it has to be considered much more difficult than the other Tour (de France)...
2700 miles of jeep track, gravel roads, singletrack, paved road and wherever else the course sends you from Banff AB to Antelope Wells, Mexico.  Insane.
But it can also be argued that my mental stability is fragile at best so this just might be the perfect place to either crawl back to the normal world (BORING!!!) or fully embrace to plunge to a life of perfect bliss.  You see, ignorance is not bliss.  Insanity is.  Crazy people have the most fun.
Where am I going with this, you wonder?  Simple.  I am stark, raving daft and have set my eyes on this race.  Sometimes the best way to ensure you actually accomplish something is to make yourself accountable to other people.  In that mindset I am stating that at this point I intend to begin training with the desire, hope, intent and fantasy of participating in the 2014 Tour Divide. 
Why?  Because many aspects of this race are very suitable to the kinds of skills and the personality I have.  Competitors state that the hardest part is the solitude.  Anyone who knows anything about me is aware that I crave solitude and alone time.  Another needed skill is random, bizaare problem solving.  My mind knows no box and my solutions to problems are often extremely creative and far outside of what conventional knowledge dictates but nevertheless they are effective and productive.  A flat  tire 20 miles from help?  I put duct tape on my rim and rolled on the inside of my tire.  No damage. 
This doesn't mean I will actually be in the race.  This means that I will do what I can to make sure I can be there and if everything works out training and time off from work wise then I will be there if at all possible. 
This blog will reflect my training, my thoughts, my sure to come doubts and what I consider to be hurdles overcome or successes along the way.  One of my fears is that after it's over I will be so sick of riding that I'll never ride again.  It is more mileage than I've done this season.  It is an entire season's worth of riding in about 3 weeks.  Having said that, it is 2 1/2 years away... many things can happen in the meantime.
I have been devouring anything I can find on the Divide race...  I've watched the documentary a dozen times, I bought a book a previous rider wrote about it, I buy any magazine that even hints of the race...It is the adventure of a lifetime, and besides; if you were certain you were to succeed, what would be the point of the adventure?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rebuilding forks

This is from a couple years ago but I still think it's funny...

Itinerary of a Fork Rebuild

Play around with pressures in upper and lower chambers.
Play around with blow off valve pressure.
Sit on bike, pretend to be riding.
Put fan in front for effect
Turn fan on for greater effect
make vrooming noises and lean into wall to simulate turns.
fall down

Get off bike and play around with pressures some more
Squat down to check brake caliper clearance
Hear loud POP,

immediately determine it wasnt from my knees or back.

feel relief

Look over bike, see that right front top wiper seal has dislodged and is leaking oil
Panic; "EEEEK, NOW what will I do???!!!???"
Immediately envision sending fork off for rebuild and not being able to ride for several weeks
Consider the cost.
Hold back tears.
Consider local bike shop for rebuild.
Envision no riding for several weeks
consider cost
Hold back tears again
Make emergency call to friend who may have done this before.
Realize that the only two mechanical devices that intimidate me to repair are my transmission and my fork.
remember I'm planning to repair my tranny as soon as my parts come in, no longer feel intimidated by tranny repair.
realize if I can repair my tranny, surely I can repair my fork
Make lame joke about not calling me shirley
Crack open a beer and google "fork rebuild"
realize that some people have waaaay too much time on their hands after looking at webpages detailing table forks, potato forks and pitch forks
Streamline google process: Google "Reba SL fork rebuild"
Find successful forum page on
finish beer and realize that I can and will do this.
Open another beer and begin taking fork apart.
take out basin to catch oil
remove bottom air valve nut
unscrew rebound control bolt
tap fork on counter
make mental note to complain to manager about crappy counter tops
spill oil everywhere but inside the basin
slip and slide and fall down making mental note to complain to manager about crappy floors
lose beer "where the heck did I leave it?"
open another beer.
Wonder if Lance ever had to deal with stuff like this.
Finish taking fork apart. Wow, way more complicated than I thought. Look at all these weird parts.
Read service manual, lose interest.
Find lost beer, drink both and surf the net.
Go to bed, sleep.

Wake up, clean fork parts.
Too early for beer.
Find beer from last week. ``What the heck is it doing in the micro wave?``
Phone local bike shops for oil prices.
Be sticker shocked. $30 a liter?????
Get tip from weird sounding bike dude at shop "go to motor sports shop, same oil, lots cheaper"
It's a holiday, no oil today. Take single speed for a ride.

Come home from work, found oil for $11 a litre, feel smug cuz I beat the LBS price.
Go to pharmacy for syringe.
Flirt with cute pharmacist. Make mental note of her pretty eyes and laugh.
Notice that in spite of being so charming, suprisingly I'm STILL SINGLE... be amazed.
Hold door open for old people on way out of store.
Make mental note of how happy they looked that someone was nice to them
Make mental note to be nice to more old people.
Make mental note to be nice to Dorning and Paul Seier... they qualify.

Go home, crack beer and google "old people"
be shocked at how many porn sites come up
Google "beer"
lose interest

Google "ADD"

wander off ``OOOH Shiny thing!!``

Start putting shock back together: ``who needs instructions``
take it all apart again; ``I need instructions``
remember blind date later; make lame joke about preferring a woman who can see
shower, get ready for date, go on date.
Realize why I'm still single. Remember funny story about MDH quotes "the more women I meet the more I like my bike"
wonder if there are ANY normal women out there anymore.
Hope blind date doesnt stalk me...
Go to gym after blind date; hope that cute girl I talked to last week is there again...

Take shock to work to work on at firehall
watch videos on SRAM site 100 times
watch once more
Attempt putting shock back together with oil and air and parts
explain to captain what I'm doing
add oil
explain to driver what I'm doing
add air
explain to rookie why we still call him "new guy" and has to put up the flag every morning

Take shock home and reinstall on bike
Sit on bike and observe shock reaction
pretend to be riding.
Put fan in front for effect
Turn fan on for greater effect
make vrooming noises and lean into wall to simulate turns.
fall down

Pronounce shock fixed
celebrate with a beer
be smugly happy that I did it myself

be amazed I'm still single
have another beer
go to bed and dream about Maah Daah Hey

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Response to an athiest's claim about "truth"

You state that truth shows there is no God.

I say:

There is no evidence that supports love. You cannot prove scientifically that you romantically love your wife, yet we steadfastly hold on to the archaic belief of love. It cannot be proven, support for it is basically anecdotal and is firmly based on feelings and the faith that what we believe we feel is what we have described as "love" when in fact it is more likely to be a chemical hormonal reaction and a co-dependancy relationship that develops as a result of said chemical/hormonal reaction. What tricks do you use to convince yourself that you actually love your wife? What hard scientific evidence can you produce to convince me: a love skeptic?

Love is a fantasy that we convince ourselves of because we are afraid of the truth. We appeal to security, faith, fear of being alone, tradition, emotion and dogma yet logic and critical examination cleary shows us a convincely lack of evidence to prove this ridiculous notion of love.

I choose not to be self delusional and not to accept unsubstantiated claims of "love". I refuse to hang on to beliefs because I am afraid of the reality that what we call love is merely a chemical reaction in my brain brought on by a natural instinct to reproduce and any relationship that ensues is merely a co-dependency based on mutual benefit alone and has absolutely nothing to do with love. Love is a myth, a fantasy, a delusion.

I see no evidence that love exists. Any claim that our actions of benevolence are based in love are simply lies we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel good about that benevolence when it is simply for our own feelings of goodness about ourselves that produce said actions of benevolence. These actions are purely selfishly motivated for what we get out of it.

I too choose to believe the truth, whatever it turns out to be and because of the lack of evidence for love I choose to abandon my belief in it.

I do this because living my life searching for something that so clearly does not exist is a waste of energy and is about as useful as driving a car with my eyes shut and trying to pedal a bicycle at the same time.

Or I can have faith that it does exist because without faith then nothing outside of the physical world exists. Not love, not friendship, not sadness, not guilt, not redemption, not loneliness, not hatred or joy. Without faith I have no loyalty, no reason to help anyone at any time if I don't believe I will receive some compensation as a result of that aid. Without faith I have no reason to counsel my friends to try to save or even put any effort into their marraiges. In fact, I should be prosletyzing them to become divorced because clearly love does not exist and being independent is infinately more satisfying than co-dependence. Selfishness is infinately more productive than sacrificial.

Does love exist? I believe it does. I don't need proof.

Does God exist? I believe He does and that He is the author of all love.

I hope love exists for me. I know God does. I have faith in both.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (New International Version, ©2010)

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Credit where credit is due

As the year comes to a close we can't help but reflect back on the preceding 12 months and revisit the times or events that stand out either for positive or negative reasons.  Aqousticblog is reminded of several items that bear mentioning for the simple reason of stellarism.  Stellarness?  Stellaristical fantasticness?
Umm, we'll go with stellarasmic.

VHold now called Contour:  for going above and beyond in providing warranty replacements for several used helmet cams.  I was looking for a repair and they were well aware that I had purchased the cams second hand but they sent me brand new replacements.  Stellar!!

Trek/Gary Fisher:  Again, a second hand frame (although I was the first consumer to actually ride the bike) and when it broke (see facebook for pics) they stepped up and provided a most excellent replacement.  A 2007 Gary Fisher Caliber 29er F/S aluminum became a 2011 Gary Fisher Superfly Elite 100 carbon fibre frame.  Stellar!!

Brandon bike race:  Well organized, well marked, well prized and the guys realized they can't go to the well too often.  Stellar for a great event, stellar for the guys who did all the work and good on ya for keeping your priorities in check and realizing that you gotta take a break now and then.  Thanks for what you did.  Stellar!!

Olympia:  Year after year these guys put on race after race.  I thank them by supporting their business when I can.  Tirelessly these guys sponser and organize the Wednesday night race series, the season opener in Grand Beach, the long distance race of several different names (usually with a beach in the title).  Stellar!!

Swan River:  A fantastic race.  These guys put on what I consider to be the funnest event in spite of never knowing if anyone will actually show up.  Well marked, very clean course and a well run event.  Undying optimism considering how far away they are.  Stellar!!

My friends and rivals:  Without you I'd just be riding around in circles looking like a moron.  With you, I'm riding around in circles looking like a moron.  The difference is that you make it fun and we can share some laughs before during and after.  Thanks for being there all season.  Can't wait for next year.  Stellar!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Merry Christmas

A local mother told me this morning that the school her child attends informed parents that they were to keep all mention of Christmas out of the holiday season.  Now, I have never been accused of having a soft approach.  I have the subtlety of a belt sander and the tact of a bulldozer but this annoyed the crap out of me.  This admonishment was to keep the immigrant families from feeling offended.
This offends me.  I'll say it again; this deeply offends me.
Canada; while no longer considered a "christian" country celebrates Christmas.  Whether you do that because of your religious beliefs or because you want to celebrate the spirit of this season it is a western world tradition to celebrate the time of Christmas.  Immigrant families are well aware of the customs and celebrations of Canada before they arrive and the fact that they might be offended by this is good enough reason for them not to have come here in the first place.  I have no racial biases.  I have no racism in me.  I have friends who are black, native, Asian, white and everything in between.  I have friends who's race I don't even know because I don't care because it simply does not matter.  But if someone immigrates to this country they should understand and accept the fact that we celebrate a time of the year called Christmas. 
Christmas was originally a pagan holiday that was hijacked by the christian community to signify the generally accepted time of year that Christ was born.  While I would be surprised if even 40% of the general population would identify Christmas as the celebrate birthday of Jesus Christ, we still, as a country, celebrate Christmas on December 25th.  Got a problem with that?  Well, suck it up my friend because that is what we do.  We also celebrate Victoria Day.  What?  She's not your queen?  You still get a day off for it.  We celebrate Labour day and the August long weekend.  Do you know why?  You might not even care but you still take the day off probably with pay. 
As for me and my house we will say Merry Christmas and if you don't like it then stay HOME!!!!
Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I am a Winnipeger...

I am a winnipeger.

I will not tolerate mosquitoes but I will protest the spraying of chemicals.

I will drive my car through snow banks and complain that snow clearing is too slow.

I will support development and growth in our city as long as its not where I live.

I will complain about the heat, the cold, the dryness and the humidity.

I will hate cyclists and insist they get off the road but I will refuse to consider public money for a bike path.

I will not let you into my lane and I will not make eye contact when you are trying to merge.

I will insist on my rights at the expense of yours.

I drive everywhere in spite of the price of gas.

I scorn Saskatchewan even though they’re leaving us behind

I won’t vote in the civic elections but I will complain about whoever won.

I don’t know my city councillors name but he’s doing a horrible job.

I don’t know my neighbours, I don’t know my co-workers and I will not let anyone intrude into my cliques.

I love hating this city, I hate loving this city.

It’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s too humid, it’s too snowy but gosh darn it I will not move.

I am a winnipeger.

I suck.