Saturday, October 17, 2009

To Drug or Not To Drug?

It's sad to see everyone so dependent on drugs. I can see the need for Tamiflu and what not if you or your loved ones are considered "higher risk" in regards to H1N1 but I think that the capitalist media hype has people worrying themselves into a frenzy. People, our bodies are equipped with an immune system for a reason and there are reasons why these viruses keep getting stronger. One of these reasons being that we rely on other methods than our own immune system way too often to kill the viruses which in the long run makes the viruses stronger and our immune systems weaker. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against using medicine as needed but taking something to shorten the life of the flu when it's in it's early stages just seems unnatural. I'm now on day 5 of the flu, my doctor diagnosed it as seasonal without testing, I have my suspicions that it may be H1N1 but don't really see where that matters as I am treating it as "The Flu." I am taking Tylenol or Theraflu as needed, drinking lots of fluids and trying to eat crackers when I can as my appetite is gone. I have missed a few days of work but that's what happens when you get this sick. I am confident that this thing will run it's course and I can head back to work in the near future.
So the point I am trying to make to you is, calm down and have a little more faith in your body's immune system.
As far as children go, as a parent who has lost a child I know as well as anyone how frightening it can be to see your normally energetic kid too lethargic to get out of bed but again, have a little faith in the human immune system and be cautious of what you're putting in your child's body, immunizations included.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Been to hell, I spell it, spell it D-M-V

A Word to the wise: Don't ever get in a traffic accident in the state of Oregon. After the police complete and file a crash report with the DMV and you explain the accident, in detail, to the police, your insurance agent, an adjustor and countless other jackasses that want to know what happened to your car you are then tasked with the luxury of filling out a DMV accident report form and submitting it to the DMV within 72 hours. Did I mention that the DMV has the most inconvenient god damned hourse for serving those of us who work for a living? They may as well be a bank, at least then you wouldn't get dinged $2.00 for withdrawing money from their ATM seeing how they are the only agency left in the free world that does not accept debit.
Oops! Looks like I'm about 89 hours late and counting...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taking Back What's Rightfully Ours!

Since my wife's favorite bicycle was stolen from our garage on Mother's Day, things haven't been the same. As she scoured the web for a new cruiser nothing she found seemed to be exactly what she desired and I feared that she would convince herself settle on a bike that she would not be happy with after a month. All this emotion came to an end last Thursday on my ride home from work.

As I was eastbound on B Street I spied a female on a cruiser about a half of a block ahead of me. Immediately I zoomed in taking note of the bike's features as has become routine since the Mother's Day incident. The bike looked pink but I'm colorblind so I looked to the fenders, which were undoubtedly white, and then I saw the handlebars, unmistakable in all their oversized glory. At that moment I knew I had found her bike. In an attempt to control the rush of adrenaline, I tried to talk myself out of what I was witnessing but finally the sight of the gray seat that read "Iron Horse" would not allow me to do so. Immediately, I attempted to not draw attention to myself, passing the pink beauty to look as if I was just going about my business. I made my way across 14th street and flipped a U-turn almost sure that the rider would turn onto 14th. As my instinct did not let me down, immediately I got the Police on the phone as I proceeded to follow the suspect south on 14th street, thru the 7-11 parking lot, stopping 2 blocks over at a house on the corner of 12th and main to talk to a couple of guys that she obviously knew. As I concealed myself across the street behind a bush on the corner, I remained on my bicycle while keeping the police dispatcher updated on all details and events. I cringed as I witnessed the suspect park the bike on its side, choosing not to use the extra muscles in her foot to set the kickstand. She walked in the house with one of the men while the other remained on the porch looking out toward my direction. I was unsure if he had spotted me but I had no cares about that as I had found my wife's bike, the police were on the way and all I had to do now was keep the bike in my sights and wait for the authorities to arrive on the scene. Not three minutes passed and the suspect and what I now assumed was her boyfriend emerged from the house. Her boyfriend proceeded to mount the bike while he talked with her. They then headed out, him riding the bike while she walked. As they headed toward 7-11 presumably for a jumbo fountain drink or a malt liquor, I kept my distance while the dispatcher checked to see how far out a patrol car was. I had little worry that they would attempt to flee if they caught on to me, knowing that if they were stupid enough to consider such an act the pink beach cruiser would be no match for my trusty Redline 925. About halfway through the grueling 2 block trek to the store the boyfriend stopped and the girlfriend proceeded to hop on the bike with him, easily exceeding 300lbs of weight on the bicycle. I muttered, "I could kill those bastards." and then quickly remembered who was listening on the other end of the phone. As the couple entered the 7-11, leaving the bike outside unlocked, I headed across the street to the Grocery Outlet parking lot; picked a good, concealed viewing spot and hoped that someone else wouldn't take the bike while they were inside. I then realized that I had been disconnected from the police dispatcher and quickly redialed. The dispatcher picked up immediately, informing me that a patrol car was just freed up a few blocks away. As the couple proceeded to head back in the direction from whence they came, I followed. The boyfriend then began pointing or making hand gestures at something that appeared to possibly be in my direction. As I was trying to decipher if they were on to me a feeling of relief fell over me as I looked behind me to see two police cars heading in our direction. I motioned, pointing to the couple with my wife’s bike and the officers both flipped on their lights and stopped the suspects.

Immediately one of the officers flipped my wife's bike upside down, resting it on its seat and handlebars at which point he verified the serial number confirming what I was already sure of. As it turned out, the gentleman I had been trailing bought the bike for "his girl" on Mother's Day at about 5:30 for $25. $25? What a deal! I must be an idiot. I thought I got a steal (no pun intended) at $135. His story seemed fairly legitimate as he named of a known local crook as the seller of the bike. When I mentioned my trailer that was stolen along with the bike, the suspect informed me that the "dealer" he bought the bike from was pulling a trailer. The police then cited him and informed him that unless he could prove that he purchased the bike from said thief he would be charged with "Theft by Possession." I contemplated whether or not to have these charges dropped but knowing that unless there was pressure on him he would have no motivation to assist the authorities in prosecuting the illegitimate cycle vendor, I decided to stick with protocol and allow the police to charge him.

You can imagine my wife's excitement as I called to inform her of my whereabouts and the afternoon's goings on. She headed down in the Mommy Missile, I strapped the bikes to the back, the suspect apologized, shook hands with us and we were headed home with her long-lost bike! Despite all her disbelief, I told my wife that I knew we would see that bike again someday but I had no idea that it would be this soon and that the bike would still be in nearly the same condition it was in when stolen. The moral of this story though, I told her, is that if you spend enough time on a bicycle you don't miss much. I guarantee that I would have not found the bike on my commute home last Thursday had I been burning fossil fuels, as I would have been on a different route, inside a bubble and not nearly as alert to my outside surroundings.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reward: $$Your Dignity

As I try to come to terms with recent losses due to a security breach at my home I find myself diligently scouring Craigslist, hopping back and forth between the Bike Classifieds and Lost and Found. In doing so it makes sense to check out the posts that others have left in regards to their losses, I figure that as I am out about my daily activities it takes little extra effort to keep my eyes peeled for other's possessions that have been lost or snatched out from under them.

Unfortunately, I have found that most of these posts rub me the wrong way- people offering rewards and asking for a return with "No questions asked." This begs me to ask a question, What the hell have we become? You are begging a thief to return what is rightfully yours and you are willing to pay them for it? This is desperation at it's worst. Or is it greed? One thing's for certain, while I will do everything in my power in an attempt to recover my wife's pink cruiser and my burley trailer, the last thing I'm willing to do is advertise to pay someone money to be a decent citizen and do their civic duty. As far as the no questions asked portion goes; you can bet your ass that if you show up at my house with my bike or trailer, amidst all the jubilation I will most definitely ask you where you found them. And don't assume for one minute that if I see some tweaker cruising the ave on my wife's bike, I'm going to politely walk up to him and say, "Excuse me, Sir? I'm sorry to be a bother but I do believe that bike belongs to me. It is none of my business where you acquired it from but if you don't mind I'd like to have it back now."

These items belong to us. We have paid for them with our own hard earned money and not only are we entitled to have them rightfully returned but we also deserve to know how they found their way back home, in the rare instance they should. I'm not saying that I'm not more than willing to show my appreciation for someone who helps me out and returns to me what is rightfully mine. I am saying that I will never compromise my humanity by offering you money to return what has been taken from me. In the legal system I believe that such a "reward" is referred to as ransom.

So here's my promise to you, good citizen's of the world, if you can return my wife's bicycle and/or trailer, you will be rewarded but not by me, by yourself, knowing that you've helped your neighbor. I will expect nothing less should I do you such a service. This reward is one that you will always carry with you and cannot lose and that my friend is priceless.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Congratulations. Broad daylight, you stroll into a suburban garage and take the most convenient, handsome bicycle of the bunch and a trailer to match. You either have guts, are extremely stupid or you're one bad son of a bitch. With a Rottweiler in the backyard and a Bulldog in the house only separated from you by wood and sheetrock. You're premeditation must have been a short one. Sorry about your belt, I tried to hang on to it for you in the event you returned but the police officer insisted on keeping it, apparently they like evidence especially when they are dealing with a felony such a Burglary 1. But who are they kidding here? You know as well as I do that even if you do have a criminal record, you're punishment from the police will be minimal at best on the rare occurrence that you are caught. Once you discovered that your belt was missing I hope that you found comfort in learning that the trailer has a pressure attachment for mounting to the bike frame and therefore a belt to attach the trailer was not necessary after all.

I would like to thank you for not touching my son's bike as my wife has another bike, the Cruiser was only a bike of leisure for her. For stealing a child's bicycle would be, well honestly I would categorize such an act as just slightly less tasteless than stealing a mother's bike on Mother's Day. Oh, I know that you had no idea that the bike belonged to a mother and may have even been too high to remember that it was Mother's Day but these things considered I'm sure that any human being in this day and age may have reassessed such an act.

It should also be known that with your new bike you are eligible to receive a free tune up from REI. Just bring the bike into the store and they'd be happy to service it for you and send you on your way. My apologies in regards to the tear in the vinyl of your new Burley flatbed trailer, that was a condition that existed when I purchased the trailer two weeks ago. Had you waited a few days, you may have a more sound trailer as I was planning to patch that tear this week. I'd still be more than happy to patch it if you'd like to bring the trailer by at your convenience. In addition if at any time you are not completely satisfied with your new bicycle and trailer, please return it for a full refund, this guarantee extends to anyone who may take possession of these items for the life of both the bicycle and the trailer.


CALL (541) 736-3758 Or Springfield Police at 726-3714

Friday, May 2, 2008

Honorable Mention...

I just decided to drop by and visit the Collin's Cycle Shop Blog tonight to see which of my fellow essay contest entrants won the fixie and you can imagine my surprise when I, well, read for yourself (Thanks again to those of you who voted for me)-

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

An Insiders View of Corporate Layoffs

Some unfortunate news that I've been reluctantly anticipating for some time now came to the forefront today when my former employer, a local RV manufacturer, announced job cuts. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to any of us given the state of the economy, gas prices and the cost of a luxury RV. In addition another local RV manufacturer announced last week that each of their employees would see 5% pay cuts while their CEO would see a 25% cut. Such sacrifice by an RV CEO is astonishing to me as a former insider and I'm sure it may not sit well with other CEOs within the industry.

While the attitude and the mood of the corporate brass during these times may appear solemn to those of us on the outside whose only view is through the media, I can assure you that when the lay-offs are complete the upper management will breathe a sigh of relief and will be happy to have a burden lifted from their shoulders. In fact from what I have seen, I would estimate that in 90% of cases relating to job cuts or "lay-offs" of this sort the mood will be much brighter mainly because of the people who are gone. The corporations see this as an opportune time to "Weed the Garden" so to speak. I'm not talking about just axing the weak but axing those who have pissed off management for one reason or another. This being the case, nobody is safe here- from those whose personalities just don't mesh with the good old boys', to those who were unfairly hired into an un-posted position due to their relation to or status with a management head outside of work. Nobody is safe here! Step on the wrong toes just once and you'd better beware!

I, myself, was fortunate enough to have survived 3 large scale layoffs while under the employment of said RV company but i'm not sure that fortunate is highly accurate description of seeing friends pack up their desks and head home one last time because some jackass with in imported mahogany desk can't control his liquor consumption or some clown's brother needed a job or some sorry excuse for a technology director insisted that his minions give a company laptop to the son of VP who was more than willing to pay for it or how about when this same ignoramus suggested that an employee cancel long distance on their home phone and just use their company cell phone for long distance because that's what he did, and what about that Internet service on the corporate jet that only works 50% of the time at best, that's right I said corporate jet and what a luxurious flight that is. All the liquor you can handle, snacks, bottled water to further promote global pollution, and even a little debauchery and sexual harassment on the side. However I may have felt through these times I'm sure was nowhere near comparable to what my fellow employees could have been feeling in their freshly unemployed state but perhaps the worst feeling of all was that feeling of teetering on the edge. The feeling you get when the company announces that layoffs are coming, in order to appease the shareholders. You know the old men who have more than their fair share of currency and are unwilling to part with any decent sum in which a charitable organization may greatly benefit from? We would often get the announcement anywhere from 2-5 days ahead of time, as standard employees. But then there's the supervisor world, a world I was allowed into only when convenient. We would usually get the heads up on layoffs up to a week ahead of time so that we had ample time to prepare for the untimely departure of our piers and by this I mean that we would get the names of people slated for layoffs way before they knew that they were being issued a one way ticket home. A whole week? Really, we need this much time? Does it seem ironic that during such times there was plenty of gossip to go around the management world of which the main subjects consisted primarily of the employees to be laid off? So with anticipation building, I would do my best to hold back and not tell people that there day was just around the corner and they should open up and tell the Director the truth about himself. Lay-off day would come. And go. And I would get furious, only to have my supervisor tell me that it was pushed back a day or two but for why nobody knew. These were people's careers, we were playing with here. Real people. People with families to feed, car payments and mortgages. But who cares right? They had pissed someone off or did something a different way or didn't have the right personality, screw their families and most of all screw their lives. Looking back now, realizing what I had allowed myself to be sucked into and take part in, never happy about it mind you; I realize just how oblivious I was to it all, yet somewhere in the back of my mind I knew just how immoral the ways of this outfit were.

In regards to the recent announcement made by my former captor, perhaps the most ironic piece is where the CEO states something to the effect of not being able to predict the continuing decline of consumer confidence caused in part by deteriorating credit markets and record-breaking crude oil prices. Seriously? Do you watch the news, sir? You're a college graduate for crying out loud! If these are the wits of a millionaire, that fully explains my current financial status! To add to the absurdity, this character contributed a healthy (by normal American's standards) chunk of change to the 2004 reelection bid of our current Commander in Chief. You know that really funny guy that heads up the government? The government who won't do a damn thing about oil prices, oil consumption, price-gauging or pollution. Yes Oil, you know the stuff that is used to make the gasoline that is quickly approaching $5 a gallon and is used to fuel large RVs which happen to burn it at an average rate of 5 miles per gallon or so I'm told. Hmmm where's the problem?

It is a sad thing to see some really great people, some of the best I've ever worked with, at this place once again. As an outsider now, my view has changed and I think I truly understand what a terrible thing this is. On the other hand, the brass deserve what's coming to them in the form of failure but the unfortunate irony of all this is that at the end of the day, even if the company was to fold, the brass will be the last to feel the hurt. Send the Comptroller home jobless and he's still feeding his family, in fact it would probably be an opportune time for him to take a much needed vacation before he decides his next move whether it be with another corporation or as an independent consultant charging hundreds per hour. Send the guy installing cabinets home jobless and he's trying to figure out how to afford to feed his family, put gas in his car to go apply for new work, and make this month's rent.