No shit, there I was.

I ride my bike.  I like to ride my bike.  I like being out whilst riding my bike.  I have made a choice that I will not let cars deter me from riding my bike.  Ishna’Allah. إن شاء الله.  With that in mind, I do wear a quality, well fitting helmet.  I also wear neon green jerseys or outer garments and I have a red/white/yellow strobe mounted on the back of my bike.

Today, that wasn’t enough for the idiots of this world.  A driver decided that passing me, in a no-passing zone, whilst another car was approaching was a great idea.  Naturally, he barely passed by me and I flipped him off.

That’s when he decided to pull off the right side of the road.  And roll his window down.  I gave him a wide berth, expecting to be spat upon, and pushed on down the road.  That’s when he got back onto the road and pulled up next to me.

And started pushing into me.

I’m yelling at this guy but was truly scared that he was gonna hit me.  So I firmly planted a size 9.5 left Sidi with Speedplay cleat deeply into his Saturn’s right front fender and exploded quite a nice remembrance into the plastic.  About a 12 inch hole’s worth.

I did not expect such a result but that certainly did keep the guy away from me as I pulled to a stop and got my phone out.  He stopped ahead, got out of his car and started coming back to me, so I used my bike as a guard between us as I moved back, all the while calling 911 for help.

Needless to say, emotions were running high as I flagged down the next passing motorist who saw the whole thing.  When I asked him to stay for the police, he said, “Man, I’m smokin dope.  I’s gots to go!” and left.  Seriously, I cannot make this stuff up.

Shortly, the Stoney Point fire truck pulled up to confirm no injuries.  When I told them I’d kicked the guy’s door after he tried to run me off, the fireman said the State Trooper will do more than that.

When it was all said and done, the State Trooper told me I was in the right.  As a cyclist, I am a vehicle in the eyes of the law and have full right to the entire lane.  Of course, the paper the law is written on doesn’t hold up well to the car that tried to hit me.  At the time, I was worried that I was going to get hemmed up for kickin the car and didn’t even question why that guy didn’t get a ticket, though I wonder about it now.  Talkin with the Trooper, that guy could’ve been ticketed for several offenses for about 12 points

In any case, I was in the right of it, however, I’m not sure if I’ll do the same thing next time.  Just another reflection of the times showin the erosion of the rule of law down to rule of power.


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Getting ready for K9’s arrival on Friday and I’ve got the crate built.  Next, is painting and working on the embellishments.  Pics over at Happy Snaps.


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How do you give yourself whiplash in one easy step?  Why, you simply step on the “clutch” of the loaner 2013 MINI Cooper S Step-tronic AUTOMATIC whilst driving at 35mph!!  Seriously that simple.

The rest of the story is that Kelly and Nyssa had Maggie out on a shopping run on a Friday afternoon when a red warning indicator came on the dash.  According to the MINI manual, it was an ABS/DTC failure and we were to contact our MINI Dealership as “your journey is over.”!!!  Wonderful quote.  MINI road-side assistance worked very well and the tow truck was right on time.  Only problem was I’d taken the tow hook out of Maggie (for whatever reason) and had to drive her up onto the truck myself.  Once we got to the dealership, it was too late for them to look into it, so they gave me a loaner for the weekend.  An automatic!!

The following Sunday, whilst drive about and pulling away from a stop light, I “shifted” the paddles and hit the “clutch” for second gear!!  Scared me at the time and didn’t start hurting until Monday night.  Neck was completely locked up all day Tuesday and part of Wednesday.  By Thursday night, started feeling better.  Up to the point where I pinched a nerve in my shoulder!!  Wasn’t ’til Saturday that everything was back to “normal”.

So, what did I learn from this?  The Footwell Body Control Modual of a 2010 JCW just doesn’t just fail and BMW was happy to split the costs.  Jolly decent of them.  Also, there is no clutch on a Step-tronic!!  And I won’t make that mistake ever again.


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We went and saw “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” last night.  Let’s just say that we saw all three LOTR films, and own them now, however, we won’t see this film again.  It wasn’t good enough to make me want to see it again, let alone dish out the sheckles to see it over and over again at home.  What bothers me is that Peter Jackson has about 9 hours to tell the story of one book, whereas he did the three LOTR books in the same time, and still screws up the story.  CNN has an article that talks about these changes; though it’s not complete, it does point out the tip of the iceberg.

There were some technical questions brought up by the media which effected our movie experience.  For example, the controversy about the cinematic effects Jackson uses wasn’t too bad an issue.  There was some loss of focus across panoramic shots and the color depth seemed darker, I didn’t think it was too bad. Martin Freeman did a good job as Bilbo, given the limits of the screenplay.

The real problem, as is always the case, is that those of us who read and know these stories are often disappointed, to some degree, with the movies.  Just like the Harry Potter series where, as the story goes along, the screenwriters had to modify the story.  What?  Wasn’t J.K. Rowlings a good enough writer for ya’ll?  In The Hobbit, Jackson tries to roll in all the appendix notes from LOTR to round out The Hobbit story.  What he completely misses are the details already in The Hobbit.  For example, when Bilbo is introduced to the dwarves in the book, he acts as the gracious host entertaining his guests as the random dwarves show up at his door.  However, Freeman has to play it as the befuddled home owner as the dwarves take over his house and the as the put upon host as the dwarves go about their business.  Eventually, Freeman is able to own the character once they are past Rivendell.  I can understand taking some commercial/literary license by expounding the party’s involvement in the stone giant’s fight but to bend the established stories is almost intolerable.

Thus, we, too, are disappointed with this movie.  Sure, we’ll watch each as it’s released but we won’t be buying the DVDs or BRs as they’re released.  Which is too bad for their loss of residuals.


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After our trip to the Archer’s for Thanksgiving, we had Kelly’s Birthday here at the house.  The “authorized” pictures are over on Happy Snaps and you’ll see, she was quite pleased.  Happy Birthday, Dearest!


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Last week, I sent emails to my US Senators and US Representative about DoD’s stance that the Fort Hood Shootings were an act of workplace violence, rather than an act of terrorism.  Today, I got a call from my Congressman’s office, Larry Kissell.  Imagine that.  Of course, the gentleman making the call was, most likely, just ticking the box but at least they called.  Haven’t heard from Richard Burr or Kay Hagan yet.  Perhaps they just don’t care.


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Whilst driving me to Womack for yet another kidney stone, Kelly “allegedly” ran two red lights.  Though we stopped at both intersections (one being on Bragg) and made sure there were no cars coming, we proceeded through.  Thus, my diligently law-abiding, upstanding citizen put these on her trust in the fact that if a police officer had pulled us over, he would have then led the parade to the hospital after just one look at me.

Just two years ago, I drove myself to Womack but this bout, unlike its three predecessors, gave me no warning and just staggered me with its “Hello!”  So, instead of a quick ride to Parkton and then church, Kelly and I spent about 7 1/2 hours waiting this thing out.  During that time, Kelly just about read her latest book and I pretty much slept from all the durgs I needed for the pain.  I took four liters of Lactated Ringer’s solution (and only threw up twice), but surprisingly, I have yet to return these contributions.  Of course, the doctor told me to drink more often whilst riding my bike; I always take my Camelbak and then just about plough through a gallon of decaf Sweet Tea post-ride.  Hmmm…

Regardless, 68 days after my last trip to Womack was too soon, by far, for a return.  FWIW, this is now my new level 10 in pain on the 1 to 10 scale the docs ask you to compare to.  This hurt so bad I was fighting back the tears, not gonna lie.  But to hear the woman a couple of beds over screaming and crying about getting a simple shot in the arm made me feel that I wasn’t quite the wuss I thought I was when I left the house this morning.  And who takes their healthy toddler to the ER to visit?!?  A germ factory visiting the replenishment farm?!?  ‘Merica is in trouble if this is our future.

In any case, I’m have and well.  I felt so sick having not eaten anything since dinner last night, I settled for a McD’s strawberry shake and some bread, just to be sure I don’t violently reject this offering.  The yards NEED to be cut but that’ll just wait until tomorrow because I am now D-U-N.  Like a turkey dinner at Christmas, stick a fork in me.


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So I gave Kelly a ride to work this morning and we get behind some go-faster Mustang which was red in color and had two broad, white racing stripes.  Naturally, I smugly call out “Poser!”, to which my loving bride responds with “I like that.”  WTF?!?!  Who are you and what have you done with my wife?!?  She goes on to say how it’s a Mustang, so it has to be cool and that she likes it better than a MINI.  Choking back my innate response of “Get the hell out!!”, I point out to here that I’d just seen no less than FOUR Mustangs at the intersection, they’re so COMMON.  To which she responds, “Yeah but it’s a Mustang, so it’s cool.”

Later, she asks “What are you doing going for Starbucks?”

My response: “Well, after that Mustang remark, I had to do >something< to get that bad taste out of my mind!!!


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Jon has moved from being certifiable to certified as a Basic EMT in North Carolina.  Great job!!  It took almost a month to the day for the state to come back with his results but when the letter came in an document envelope, I knew.  If he’d failed, they’d just send a letter saying so.  It’d be rather cruel to send a large envelope saying, “Looser!!  Try again.” or some such.  Still, is cool that he can stabilize, O2, transport!


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Today, I took my daughter, and baby of the family, up to Meredith for Move-In Day and my baby, Nisa-wisa, is gone from my life forever.

Now I have a Meredith Woman.  Nyssa has entered the Class of 2016 with the finest academic family that will prepare her for her future better than Kelly and I could have ever hoped to find.  In the short time we’ve spent at Meredith, we have come to believe that Nyssa will thrive in this environment and develop into a strong, resilient, fantastically gifted academic.  She has to trust in herself that she can exceed even her own expectations.

Meanwhile, I deal with the loss of my sweet ba-bu and hope she can see that, though my tears started in sorrow, they have become ones of joy.

I love you, Nyssa Natasha.  Your Poppa Bear

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