Bicycle Stories Month | Week 1: Recap and Round-up

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

The Recap Portion

Off to a Slow Start

At the end of week one it seems that I am the only person who was able to write a post for this event, however I am still encouraged by the amount of interest I have seen in the project. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks to come there will be more entries.

I am a hard-headed, stubborn bastard at heart so we will carry on none the less.

What on the once green earth are you babbling about?

I’m doing this made up little thing I’m calling Bicycle Stories Month. It’s to get people riding their bikes and sharing their experiences. Since you showed up here you might as well join in.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Bicycles Stories Month you can check out the details on the event page.

 

The Round-Up Portion

Since I was the only active participant this week feel free to check out my post, Back in the Fold just for kicks.

Around WordPress

Even thought these folks didn’t officially enter, here are a couple of posts I liked, and thought fell into the spirit of the thing. So if you’re needing inspiration for next week you should check them out.

Day 4 Ride: Trails and Alligators – National Bike Month, Endless Seeker

Bicycle, My Photo Space BA

I Don’t Know Shit About Bicycles, Too Busy Hating Everything

The Rules Rewritten, The Human Cyclist

GROCERY SHOPPING: OVERSIZED LOAD ON A NOT-AT-ALL-CARGO BIKE, The Back Pack Objective

Fountain Ride, Bettie Takes Some Pictures

i know no bigger bastard than a bike thief, Otherwise Empty

And if that’s not enough to get you going you can look into My Bicycle Diary for more ideas.

So that’s it for this weeks round-up. If you are still interested in joining this project remember anything posted after the rest of today and all of Wednesday will be eligible to be included with next weeks round-up, and a new event post to link to will be up every Thursday at 8:00am EST.

Bicycle Stories Month | Week 1

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

Hello and welcome!

I hope you are here to participate in the Bicycle Stories Month Blogging Event, but there is a good chance at this point you might not know what that is so here is a short summary:

Bicycles Stories Month is an event I made up.

A Longer Summary

Here in America, May is National Bike Month. That got me thinking that I haven’t made an entry in My Bicycle Diary in months because of… reasons. OK, the reasons are that I haven’t spent much time on it over the wet and dreary winter and haven’t got up the gumption to start biking again, but I thought this would be a great time to get back to commuting with it as well as doing recreational rides with the missus. I also thought it might be a good month to put an event together to get other people telling their bicycle stories as well. So I did.

How Does this event work

  1. I’ll make an Event post each Thursday in May that I’ll stick to my home page for one week (Note this is the page for this week). It will be posted at 8:00am EST.
  2. You create a post for your bicycle story
  3. Use the tag Bicycle Stories Month and/ or include a Pingback to the weekly event post (again that’s this page)
  4.  On the following Tuesday, I’ll post a round-up of and/ or  reblog some of my favorites. (entries made after the round-up is posted will be eligible for the following week’s round-up)

How do I participate?

If you’d like to participate then starting Thursday May 1st,  just get out on your bike and then post about it. That’s it, no prompts no specific challenge to it just lets tell stories about bikes for a month. Your post can be in any format your comfortable with and just needs to be broadly about cycling.

  • A story or journal entry about your day out biking.
  • A photo essay showing places you visited on your bike (it’d be nice to include some pictures of your bikes).
  • A journalism piece about a bicycle event in your community.
  • The tale of teaching you child or sibling how to ride
  • When you got your first bike
  • Tell us why you hate riding a bike.
  • A how to on bike repairs
  • Anything you want just as long as it involves a bike, even a complete work of fiction.

Do we get a badge?

Absolutely, if you want a badge to include on your blog or in your post then feel free to grab a copy of the logo for the event, and stick it anywhere it makes you happy. Here it is again in case you missed it at the top of the page.

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Don’t have a Blog? We got you covered.

If you want to participate without a blog you can make a short post or share your photos on this blogs Facebook page to share your biking stories this month. I’ll be sharing bike related links there all month.

I hope that you’ll join in and have some fun with this event.

 Have any questions, or need additional information?

Please leave a comment on the Event Page or Contact Me through the myriad of options available.

Happy biking, and happy blogging.

Bicycle Stories | A blogging event

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Here in America, May is National Bike Month. That got me thinking that I haven’t made an entry in My Bicycle Diary in months because of… reasons. OK, the reasons are that I haven’t spent much time on it over the winter wet and dreary winter and haven’t got up the gumption to start biking again, but I thought this would be a great time to get back to commuting with it as well as doing recreational rides with the missus. I also thought it might be a good month to get other people telling their bicycle stories as well. So, for the month of May I’d like to make an event of it.  So I am and here’s how it’s going to work.

  1. I’ll make an Event post each Thursday in May that I’ll stick to my home page for one week.
  2. You create a post for your bicycle story
  3. Use the tag Bicycle Stories Month and/ or include a Pingback to the weekly event post
  4.  On the following Tuesday, depending on the number of participants, I’ll either reblog and/ or post a round-up of some of my favorites.

If you’d like to participate then starting Thursday May 1st,  just get out on your bike and then post about it. That’s it, no prompts no specific challenge to it just lets tell stories about bikes for a month. Your post can be in any format your comfortable with and can just needs to be broadly about cycling.

  • A story or journal entry about your day out biking.
  • A photo essay showing places you visited on your bike (it’d be nice to include some pictures of your bikes).
  • A journalism piece about a bicycle event in your community.
  • The tale of teaching you child or sibling how to ride
  • When you got your first bike
  • Tell us why you hate riding a bike.
  • A how to on bike repairs
  • Anything you want just as long as it involves a bike.

If you have any questions or just want to talk about this event leave your comments on the Bicycle Stories Event Page.

 Don’t have a Blog? We got you covered.

If you want to participate without a blog you can enter a short post or share your photos on this blogs Facebook page to share your biking stories this month. I’ll be sharing bike related links there all month.

I hope that you’ll join in and have some fun with this event.

There might even be a badge.

Visits From Nowhere

I was going through my routines this night
when as from the thinnest air,
I felt a touch that was so slight.
Might it be that someone’s there?

A brief interest seen for my endeavor
and how shallow  it does always seem,
that after this our ties you’ll sever.
It was just briefly we have shared the theme.

I labored and loved and this I showed,
to receive a view from you and others.
In return, being fairly owed,
I’ll  read your ravings about Big Brother.

In the end I’ll be alone,
Despite my writing this silly poem.

Meh, I could do better.

Meh, I could do better.

 This butchery of an art form presented in response to a Weekly Challenge.
Typing chimpanzee image from Wikimedia Commons and is public domain

RE: How big a deal is 500 anyway?

 

 

I don’t have any commentary on this, I’ve just been very sick recently and could use a good laugh. Besides I really love that scene, and I will say I think that My Blue Heaven is a hilarious movie with a great cast. The fact that it is not on Netflix instant play is a constant source of mild disappointment to me.

Another piece of good news…

Over the weekend this blog reached five hundred followers, not bad for just over five months of erratic writing attempts. Five hundred, that’s a big number (or is it? I never really thought about it before) and, come to think on it I can’t be sure I’ve ever been associated with that many people in my life, at least not that I am consciously aware of. It almost makes one wonder about the nature of human relations and how we’re all somehow connected, perhaps maybe even wax philosophic about the possibilities of a collective unconscious and speak about how we are all just really one perfect being.

Fortunately I am not one to waste my time on that type of bollocks.

Instead I’ll take the opportunity to once again thank anyone and everyone who has ever read, liked or followed me or my works. I thought I might take a few moments to highlight a few of my posts I am most proud of.

Fortunately I am not that type of self aggrandizing ass.

I am the type of self aggrandizing ass that will ask you to do it. I can not help but wonder how it is my readers have come across this blog. So, if you don’t mind, I would appreciate if you let me know what was it that got you reading? Are you a regular reader? What type of writing interests you?

I’ve mentioned before that self expression requires an audience, and I would like to get to know that audience a bit better.

Besides looking at analytics is less interesting than hearing from real people.

My plans from here is to push myself to publish more content on a regular basis, so I might be trying to write about a few new topics and stretching my style a bit, I look forward to your input .

Happy Monday.

A Brief Letter of Apology for My Slackness

To those of you who have been following this blog,

I would like apologize for the erratic nature of my posting schedule; or lack of apparent schedule altogether as the case may be. Life and work (there is a difference) have gotten the better of me and I haven’t been able to devote as much time as I would like to writing. I do suppose I should be apologizing to myself mostly as I’m the daft fool who decided they needed to start a blog in the first place.

Here's a picture of my dog looking a bit forlorn

My dog Sammy feels bad about it too.

A part of me thinks I should close up shop for a bit, regroup and start anew once I get a few drafts backed up. This would seem a wise course of action. Sadly however, this isn’t really part of my nature so instead I am going to press on at a limping pace until I get caught up on projects and otherwise get my crap together.

Things are looking up however, if any of you have been following the conversations between Jerry and Mr. Davis that I have been writing in response to various challenges and have enjoyed them; it looks like that story is starting to take a shape of its own and might become a thing soon. No promises but I like where my head is with that. I should be publishing a new part to this soon and also plan to organize the scenes onto their own page and see what happens there.

I have seen a few new people interacting with this site through follows, likes, comments, and emails and I have been remiss in some of my follow-ups, I promise I will be responding to you and visiting your blogs soon.

 I guess if there is any specific content that I’ve written that you really like, now would be the time to let me know what it is and request more of it.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who have been patiently putting up with my nonsense. I hope you find some sort of pay off for it in the coming weeks.

Doug
 

P.S.: I plan to do some redesign on this site soon also, just because I can’t leave well enough alone.

P.P.S: Since you’ve been such good sports about this here’s a picture of me looking like a total idiot.

wpid-IMG_20130113_102145.jpg

There are somethings I just can’t explain.

Horrible things on the TV

This is a continuation of Fall.

Laying in a hospital bed in a full leg cast watching horrible things on the TV. My left leg is in some kind of electric, vibrating sock to prevent blood clots. Horrible things on the TV I can’t tell what they are but they are horrible. There is morphine dripping into me. I can’t tell what is on the TV. I haven’t eaten all day in the off-chance that they can get me into surgery. My wife comes into the room

She is pissed. Then she sees my face. Apparently it is scabbed and bruised. She is worried. Things were going so well too. Of course they were going well that’s why I went out bar hopping with the guys from work. Everything was starting to look up, why not celebrate.

She has to go. Her mom is watching our little girl. Her mom is pissed at me too, I know she won’t say so when I see her she’s too nice. My wife leaves the room. A nurse gives me something for the pain. I float on the edge of unconsciousness without really touching it. There’s something horrible on the TV but I can’t tell what it is. I want some coffee. I think it’s close to midnight, not sure. If I could figure out when the horrible things began and ended I could tell how much time had passed. No surgery today. Someone brings me a coffee. Is it my wife? I drink and  it fills my mouth with muddy, lukewarm grounds and it’s all I can do not to vomit.

Laying in a hospital bed. I manage to turn the TV off. It’s a different day. Surgery day. I saw a doctor this morning, I think he’s my surgeon. My wife is in the room while I’m waiting to be taken to the Operating Room.

A social worker comes in. She is concerned about what my blood alcohol was when they brought me in. She tells me it was a point two eight. She wants to know if I normally drink that much. I lie, and she leaves the room. It’s a private room. There is a man here. He wants to help me pay for my room and my surgery, the morphine. He wants to help me pay for the horrible things on the TV. Is the TV on again. I fucking hate that TV. He gives me paper work, I set it aside and it is lost and forget where I put as I watch him leave. Psychologist is in the room. She wants to know if I want to talk about anything. I do want to talk but they have come to get me. I am wheeled away feeling confused and worried.

I pretend to be in a good mood on the way to get prepped. The trip goes by fast. I’m hooked up to a new IV and some weird box thing. The staff is joking around with me. I start to feel really good about things. One of the staff asks, “when are you going to start the anesthesia?”

“I already did.” The other says.

“What… ?” And then, a sudden, darkness.

“I need coffee.” Mumbles a voice, that turns out to be my own. Two men in scrubs seem to find this amusing. I am in a room, it is very large and white. There are empty beds and only the two men in scrubs in here with me. Post Op, making sure I come out of anesthesia okay. After an hour or more I am taken back to my room. My wife is there but she has to leave again to take care of our girl. I am laying in bed in a brand new full leg cast. There are horrible things on the TV.

I know they are horrible because they are on the TV. That’s  the only type of thing that is on this particular TV. The sounds it makes, those awful murmurs and shrieks, serve as constant reminders of its existence. I can turn it off but then I am alone. My wife can not break away from her responsibilities of motherhood for very long, my friends and co workers do not visit, the nurses will only come every four hours to give me pain medicine. I am left with this television this miserable annoyance that portrays every possible reason I might have for hating humankind all together. Cheating spouses and lie detectors, or is it delinquent dad’s and DNA tests? Crass, foul mouthed cartoons trying to point out how screwed up the media is. I think that’s called irony, or at least what passes for it anymore. I itch all over and keep nodding out, but not sleeping. I know time passes because there is always some new dreadfulness on the screen when I open my eyes. Every now and then someone comes in to stick me with something, I hope they work here.

It’s morning again and I see the doctor again, he has an entourage this time. He asks me if I am ready to go home. No thank you, I’d much rather stay here and be tortured with more boredom, loneliness, and bad cable TV. At least my laptop is here with me, so I can check social media and be reminded of how many people I know that are currently not in this room trying to keep my spirits up. I think the morphine is starting to get to me. Opiates always put me in a pissy mood, but hey they gave me this button in case I want more. Surprisingly I have an appetite, the food isn’t as bad as all that, again that might be the drugs talking. The woman who takes my requests doesn’t seem to believe that I want coffee with every meal. It goes on like this. Each day I see my wife for a few minutes. Every morning the doctor and his cohorts come in and tease me about going home. Every four hours some pills. Always that fucking television.

One day someone came in to show me how to use the crutches I was going to be saddled with for at least two months after I get discharged. I make him help me to the toilet so that I can avoid pissing in a fucking jar again. Apparently I am a natural at walking on crutches because I never see him again either.

Finally, an eternity must have passed because, I am told I can leave. I tell them to start the paperwork and call my wife. A total cluster fuck of scheduling and parking nightmares ensues in the four hours it takes for my discharge papers to arrive. My after care is ever so briefly run through by the most slack-jawed ass ever be employed in the healthcare field, his eyes are glassed over as he drawls his way in stops and starts over the details on the page in his hands. The television laughs a menacing goodbye, as I am wheeled downstairs where I wait for the person who is to pick me up to figure out where the entrance to the hospital actually is. Once this is accomplished I must figure out how to properly stand up and fit into the car without bending my knee or letting my leg drop suddenly to the ground. The end result is very uncomfortable but gets me to the pharmacy to pick up a ridiculous amount of pain killers, anti-inflammatories, and some baby aspirin to fight blood clots.

At last I am away from the clutches of that damned hospital and safe at my mother-in-law’s house. Where I lay on a bed, in a cast from my ankle to my hip, with horrible things on the TV to keep me company. I realize that there is no escaping your own personal hell.

Please, not her too.

My daughter is starting to show interest in cooking. She likes helping in the kitchen and recently she has begun watching the cooking shows that our PBS station airs on Sunday mornings. At first I really like the idea of this.  She helps mix the pancake batter for breakfast with her mom and later we sit on the couch sometimes talking about what the different chefs were making, It’s great that, at this early age she seems to share a common interest in food with me. It is starting to make me worry though. I also got interested in food at a young age and I suppose it was a near inevitability that I would end up employed in the field. It is, from my observations, a truly shitty field for a woman to go into.

The cooking world is tough for those just entering the field. Even today, cooking is highly dominated by a boys club type of mentality. The back bone of most kitchens are made up of a few lifers that define that kitchen’s practices. These jackasses generally feel that it is their sworn and solemn duty to dish out a healthy dose of abuse towards the slightest misstep in procedure, etiquette, or speech. Women entering into the culinary world are going to be facing a tough time getting employed in some kitchens and when they are hired they seem to get it a little harsher than the guys in the name of not getting any special treatment. Episodes of routine bullying and overt sexual harassment are too often the norm. Just as in a other fields of they typically are passed over for promotion and paid less than their male counterparts. However the pay is usually shite to begin with so, if someone made only seventy percent of what I currently receive my job would not at all be a viable means of supporting a family. Kitchen culture is rife with big, strong and extremely insecure men who are quite fond of exploiting perceived weaknesses, some of whom still count being a woman as a weakness.

Women who do brave and eventually thrive in the business often wind up being “tough broads” that tend to act like one of the guys. They have largely and unfortunately grown to accept the misogynistic behavior of their coworkers as just another part of the job. This includes participating in the demeaning of other women, often in the name of inuring the new chick to the slings and arrows that come as part of the territory.

The worst part, I feel as I glance at my daughter, is that I have been and in some ways am still part of that culture. I know that I make inappropriate, rude and more often than not insensitive statements. I try not to make my snarky comments have anything to do with someones gender or race but, I know I’ve done it. I know it’s wrong, I know I should hold myself to a higher standard but, there you go. I am part of the problem and I am working on that. Having a wife that keeps me in check, and a beautiful daughter who’s future I worry about is a big help.

I know that I am not raising a delicate little flower and we are teaching our daughter to stand up for herself and to be kind to other people. I also know that it will be several years before my darling and innocent little girl enters the work force and even longer before she settles on a career. Right now she is torn between the options of becoming a teacher, or a fire fighter, or a dancer, so I am most likely worrying over nothing, maybe that’s just being a parent.

Fall

I fall.

I am stumbling drunk down the street and there is this sickening, grinding crunch, I come to the immediate conclusion that the sound is my knee and then I fall. The ground is so very far away.

My eyes open I am facing a brick sidewalk. Now, I am up on my hands, my right leg doesn’t work. I don’t feel any real pain, I’m too drunk to feel. Gotta get up, gotta get home. I can do this. I just gotta get moving, it will be alright once i get on my feet. There is a railing.

I am dragging myself. I am bleeding. I make it to the railing. Hand over hand I pull myself up. I am standing, breathing, exhausted. I have a few miles to get home, but I am on my feet. I got this. Deep breath and I step away from the railing.

I fall.

My eyes open. Damn it, I’m not gonna make it home. I am crawling again. Where the fuck do I think I am going? I roll onto my back. Didn’t I have a backpack? There it is, how did it end up all the way over there? That is quite a lot of blood. I can’t walk.

“I can’t fucking walk! Help! Someone help!” The streets are empty. The bars closed hours ago. No one is listening.

I am laying on the sidewalk below a set of condos screaming and no one cares. How long have I been here? Seems like a while. Probably wind up being here until dawn. I really should buy a cellphone for myself.

Someone is standing over me. Tony, it’s Tony, and James, and Matt. They found me. There asking me questions. Tony wants to know what he should do.

“Call fucking nine-one-one!” Am I yelling? Am I laughing? I’m pretty sure I’m laughing. Maybe I’m crying. I can’t tell. Oh good here come the police.

More questions. Was I in a vehicle? Was I riding a bike? I’m not asking, the cop is. Have I been drinking? Is this guy serious. I feel amazingly sharp for being this drunk though. Oh here’s an ambulance. More questions some of them are the same. No I don’t want any opiates, thank you.

My eyes open. White light, a noise like someone mumbling through a bullhorn and I’m floating. Why is everything so bright? Hallway, hospital hallway, X-rays, my leg and my head. Some kind of scan on my skull looking for some other reason than too much to drink. My kneecap is broken. Can’t walk without one of those it turns out.  Stitches in my chin, guys too young to be a real doctor, probably still in Med School. I give him shit about this being my first time ever getting stitches, which is good because seems like it’s his first time giving them. Yeah I’m being a jack ass, but he’s the one decided to try small talk while he has that god damned spotlight in my eyes and that needle in my face. He finishes and leaves I think I pissed him off. I gotta fucking broken knee, and he’s worried about five god damned stitches.

My eyes open. Two doctors are in my little curtained off cubbyhole that I was placed in. It’s dark, I think they’re doctors. Talking about waiting to get off shift. One tells the other that it’s almost ten in the morning.
“Shit, I need to call my wife. Needless to say she’s more than pissed at me. She was waiting up for me most of the night and was trying to get our daughter ready for her appointment when I call.

This is your sign you drunk asshole.

Continued…