Monday, August 25, 2014
I bought a couple of inexpensive ($50) sports cameras for my trike. One front, one back, and I hope I never need them. But the sad truth is, if there is an accident between a cyclist and a motorist, the police will believe the word of the motorist unless if (1) it is obvious that the cyclist is not at fault, (2) there are witnesses supporting the cyclist, or (3) a video shows what happened. I hope they were a waste of money.
But one of them paid for itself yesterday.
I wear cycling gloves and when I got home, I was missing them with no idea where I took them off. So I went to the video and there they were laying on the track at the train museum as I pulled away. It's not a long drive so when I put a load of towels and jeans in the dryer, I drove down and there they still were. Those gloves aren't cheap ... anything to do with a specialized sport is not cheap. Suffice to say, that $50 camera saved me from having to buy a new $50 pair of gloves.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Last night Patrick and I had tickets to the Ravens/Redskins game.
Last night Patrick and I had tickets to the Ravens/Washington NFL Football club game.
I just wish they would change that name and get it over with. It's going to happen sooner or later why not just do it sooner and move on to harassing the Cleveland and Atlanta MLB Clubs. You know, important stuff.
Anyway. Short story made long. A number of years ago, a man named Kevin Scally from Baltimore check into a particular hotel near Big Sur for a marathon. My sister works the night desk. "Scally. I know some Scallys back in Baltimore. My cousins Kathy, Maggie, Rose ..."
And Kevin finished for her, "... Marietta, Mike, and Phil. Yeah, they're my cousins too!"
Then I was running a marathon and we happened to run into each other. Kevin ran up to me and called me Mike. "Mike's my son," I said.
"Sorry, I thought you were my cousin Mike. You look just like him. I couldn't imagine him running."
"Funny, I have a cousin Mike whom everyone thinks I look like, though we can't see it."
"Do you have a cousin Marietta, too?" Kevin asked. And he told me the story about my sister in Big Sur. Small world. We're friends now. After all we go to all the same weddings and funerals.
So here we have 60,000 people cnverging on M&T Bank Stadium in the gathering darkness and I here "TIM!, TIM NOHE!" And what do you know! It's Kevin. And he's with his friend from Big Sur.
I am not sure why I got onto that story except ...
... no, not sure at all. Oh well, here's a picture from the game.
Today, was a lovely day with low humidity and temperatures in the lower 80s. This has been a spectacular summer. (Nothing like last year when we a a couple of days with heat indices around 120ºF. That was brutal.) I I got on the trike and headed out for the City. Baltimore is only about seven miles as the Raven flies. A little farther by road. I was able to do my "Travelocity Gnome" think with my tricycle.
My first stop downtown was at the B&O Museum on Pratt Street. I didn't go in but I did lose my gloves there. And since I video my rides, I know EXACTLY where they were when I left.
The B&O Roundhouse Railroad Museum
Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum
Babe’s Dream in the courtyard at the entrance of CamdenYards
On Eutaw Street Plaza looking into the Baseball field
The Golden Arm, Johnny Unitas who made his career in Baltimore with Colts, in from of M&T Bank Stadium where the Ravens play
The finish line to the Baltimore Marathon, coming up in October. I shall run the half.
Inner Harbor with the Power Plant (one of the few buildings to survive the 1905 fire) and part of the National Aquarium.
Another angle of the Inner Harbor showing the other part of the Aquarium. I like how my windsocks match the flags in front of Baltimore World Trade Center.
Friday, August 22, 2014
I have been watching with morbid fascination this whole ALS Ice Bucket Challenge thing.
Frankly, to me, it looks stupid.
But if you are having fun with it, enjoy it. And it has admittedly raised a lot of money for that horrible disease and not money that would have gone to other diseases because most of the people who are donating likely would not have donated to another cause anyway.
But here is where I became a monster.
I chose not to participate. And I called out questionable tactics being used to coerce participation.
"What's the matter with you?" I was questioned, "You can't spare 10 minutes for ALS?"
How in the world is dumping ice water on my head going to do anything for ALS?
"It raises awareness."
I already know what it is. I have watched over the last 30 years as it has ravaged Dr Hawking. It's a horrible disease.
"Well, if you don't do it within 24 hours you," and here we go, "have to donate $100 to ALSA.org."
I will donate how much I want to whom I want when I want and you will never know about it.
"But that's the game. You can afford to give and if you can't then you can give something."
And I didn't choose to play. And yes I can and it's not your business.
And suddenly I was an uncaring heartless SOB who was putting down everyone doing the challenge. (No I am not and no I wasn't.)
I felt like these were bullying tactics. And I called it out on my Facebook status. I did not name the prime one who sent me over the edge, but it took him about a day to realize that it was he who finally prompted me to call out the tactics being used. He called to apologize. He was so swept up in the "game" that he didn't even realize what he was doing.
Get challenged, get wet or a penalty imposed if you choose not to and if you refuse the penalty you are publicly shamed.
Here, smoke this.
Some other time.
Come on. Everyone is doing it.
Then gimme your lunch money.
(Punch) Ok. Fine if that’s the way you want to be. Nobody’s forcing you to smoke.
Thanks. (Walking away)
Hey everybody. This guy’s a big p*ssy!
If that's not bullying, I don't know what is.
Well, you know I had my asbestos undies on after that. I was so totally flamed. People totally misunderstood what I was saying. They felt like I was trying to dump icewater on their fun. That I was saying the awareness campaign was a bad thing.
I was not saying any of that.
I was saying that the tactics of some were akin to shaming and bullying. For example, here is a comment to my status from one of my High School classmates. I apologize in advance for the coarse language used in the photo. But I think you need to know what I am talking about.
DanielK -- Little Tim,, I can't believe you are being an ass about this....get challenge, do it and have fun or just walk away. you do not have to donate...there is no bullying about it...this cause has raised over 10 million dollars so far....we have just lost a classmate to ALS, DannyK, and I think he would have loved to see these people taking the challenge and donate to this cause....
Insulting name to start.
Calls me an ass
Claims that there is no pressure ... wait a minute, didn't he start by calling me names?
You don't have to donate
But you know one of our classmates just died of ALS (you heartless bastard)
Then an inflammatory picture.
No, there's no bullying.
I have seen people post the names of people they challenged who declined and complained that they surely had the money to donate.
No, there's no bullying.
I was called a shallow person who was too gutless to stand for anything. (Seems I took an unpopular stand against bullying on a very popular cause. That's hardly gutless)
No, there's no bullying.
We'll just call it arm twisting. Coercion. Extortion.
But there's no bullying.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I have not a lot to say about the revelations of the past 24 hours.
I have never had much experience with clinical depression. A short 10 years ago, the boys and I went to Ireland and the first day we were there we wanted to visit the Cliffs of Moher. It was closed that day because a woman was visiting with her friends who thought a trip to Ireland would be just the thing to snap her out of her funk. They took her to the Cliffs of Moher. She looked around, took a drag off her cigarette and one step forward.
I was angry. Not because the Cliffs were closed to visitors. But because I thought she made a selfish gutless choice. Suicide is the coward's way out.
In those last 10 years, I have done enough reading and and listening and thought to come to the conclusion that it is not a gutless choice. It is not a coward's way out. It is extremely complex.
Several years ago, I think it was 2011, one of my favorite baseball players committed suicide. Mike Flanagan was a pitcher, a TV and radio voice of the Orioles, and a general manager for the O's. He was saddle with huge debt. He had other problems. But one thing he mentioned was that he believed that the fans of the team he loved felt that he was responsible for them being on a 14 year losing streak. I came to understand that his problems, when looked at individually seemed trivial, and in the case of taking responsibility for his team having a tight-fisted cheap owner actually a little silly. But when all balled together they were very complex.
The news of Robin Williams last night was a shock. And it was not. He often spoke openly about his depression and his addictions. He also took on a TV show, something a star of his calibre would normally be above. And that show failed. He had a well-known dislike for spin-offs and "sequels." And yet he did "Night at the Museum 2" and had just wrapped "Night at the Museum 3". He was supposed to start work on "Mrs Doubtfire 2" at the end of this summer. Why? As it turns out he was facing bankruptcy. At age 63, working in Hollywood for 40+ years, winning Oscars, this guy should not be having to work a TV series just to have a paycheck.
It all piled up on him I suppose. I was saddened. Shocked. But not surprised.
And the first thing that flashed through my mind was the scene from "What Dreams May Come" where he joined his wife, a suicide, in Hell.
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