Friday, June 18, 2004

Sad Juxtaposition in sad times...

This ad appeared juxtaposed with this picture when I viewed it on the web today.

Wierd Juxtaposition

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Confrontation is okay, being confrontational is not

In a work situation I like having a manager who lets me know if he/she has a problem with me or something I do. How else will I know when something is wrong or if I am making a mistake? Too often, in my opinion, rather than being "confrontational" managers let things slide. Then things fester and if the problem recurrs an employee is dinged out of the blue in a performance evaluation or worse, a bad situation explodes. Problems, in my opinion, should be dealt with as they arise when they are small and managable and not be allowed to fester and grow.

When a manager does present an issue to an employee it needs to be done confidentially and with an open mind. As well as speak the manager needs to listen. As well as listen the employee needs to speak. So many problems are misunderstandings that can be resolved, I believe, through good communication.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Is Rivendell Bicycleworks a cult?

I am a Rivendell bicycle owner and have had my long-low since 2000. But, I am concerned that the rush to reject the racing-centric culture (that Grant Petersen seems to accuse of dominating the cycling industry culture and spoiling cycling for average cyclists) that he, in my opinion, has developed a counter-culture that is as close minded as the one he seems to be rejecting.

I believe this counter culture is beyond retro and is becoming stubborn, close minded and not good for cycling. In my experience some of the things that Petersen expouses just don't work for me. An example is friction shifting. When somebody posts to the Rivendell Email list and complains that something hasn't worked for them, I have not seen enough support for a rider friendly philosophy that abmits what works for one cyclist may not be the best approach for another. In my opinion the Rivendell way is not the best way for everybody. For me, I have found some of it works for me and some does not.

Even worse, in my opinion, is the implicit rejection among those who post to the same list and those print such publications as the Rivendell Reader of basic safety devices such as helmets or raised edges on fork dropouts. (These are often derided as "lawyer lips.") Cyclists without helmets are often prominently placed in both the cataloge and the reader. I love my Rivendell long-low bicycle, but I am afraid this change cult-like emergence may hurt cyclists, Rivendell and cycling in the long run.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Reagan died, and the band played on

I wonder if the families of all the people who died as a result of the Reagan administration's ignoring of the AIDS epidemic would support the proposal to put Ronnie on Mount Rushmore. In addition to "Bedtime for Bonzo" I wonder how many people remember Ronnie's role in "And the Band Played On."

If someone wonders why this state worker tried to treat as much of the "National Day of Mourning" as a holiday as possible, I suggest they rent "And the Band Played On." Last comment, I would not wish the horrible lingering death Ronnie and his family endured on anybody. But, I was struck by this. I remember during the early days of the AIDS epidemic how some conservatives regarded AIDS as God's vengeance on the ungodly gay and sexually promiscuous in our society (ignoring the fact that many got it through blood transfusions.) Yet, I have yet to hear of a liberal say that Reagans sad end was an act of God.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Thanks Ronnie Baby, thanks Arnie

Wow, just when I thought it was a real bummer that the Republican's took the statehouse, and was all sad because the state was so low on money and bummed that we had so much to do at work and so little time to do it; a Republican ex-president (whom I didn't like very much) dies and the new Republican govenor (whom I don't like much) gives us a paid day off to celebrate, I mean morn, on the taxpayers dime.

I slept in. I had a cool bike ride this morning. It was a great day!

So much for fiscal conservativism, and hey; Thanks Guys!


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Okay, time to slow down and drive 55 again!


The state of drivers these days is atrocious. People seem to be crazier and crazier in their driving habits. Last April I was involved in a hit and run accident involving a driver whom I am convinced was in too much of a hurry. Last year, around November, Sue was hurt in an accident involving an idiot whom we believe was doing about eighty in a forty zone. Folks are killed in road rage cases more and more, usually involving people unwilling to yield, or slow down. Why this kind of hurry (and anger) exists in our society, and is being expressed behind the wheel in our society is for someone else to contemplate (for now.) The fact is it does...


The price of oil shows no sign of going down and the available supply of petroleum shows no sign of going up. It is just supply and demand.


We do not seem willing to use fuel efficient vehicles for everyday driving. While at the same time global warming is threatening our environment.

Therefore I say!

Nixon was right! We need to embrace Nixon's old program, return us to 55 m.p.h. speed limits. We need to slow down. Speed kills, hurts our environment, and it wastes gas!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The worst union is a weak union and I believe we have a weak union

Sticking your neck out is dangerous, even if you have a strong union.  But, if you have a weak union it is very dangerous.  I have learned this lesson the hard way.  I expected my union, the CSU Division of the California State Employees Association (CSEA), a union I have fought for and been an activist in for years, to be there for me after I filed three grievances and wrote an editorial for our union newsletter.

In my opinion they have not been and they have let my case languish for years.

Of course if we had had no union I would not have opened my mouth.  I would of kept my mouth shut and played the political game.  That is why, in my opinion, a weak union is so dangerous.  It makes you think you are safe and protected and free to fight for rights and fairness, but you are not, you are hanging out there, exposed and unprotected.  In my opinion, my career will always be affected by my unwise decision to stand up for what I felt was right. In my opinion, my career will always be adversely affected by my unwise decision to engage in what I still believe was legally protected union activity.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

This is my first Post

This is a test, more to come!