Spread the wealth and #RESIST

Wednesday night I was in  Las Vegas. I was traveling on business and attending a software conference.

Let me say this – I hate Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a dry barren monument of the greed and selfishness in this country.

The people there are rude and obnoxious. They all come to a gluttonous wasteland so show off their wealth and spend frivolously – literally wasting their money on games in order to make more money.

Wait – let me clarify: the visitors there are rude and obnoxious. The people that live there – the service industry workers that cater to this constant influx of self-obsessed millionaire wanna-be’s – are so of the nicest and hardest working people I’ve met. And they have the patience of saints.

So- I was having a burger and a beer after the conference was let out for the day. I handed the bartender my credit card and when she returned it I gave her a healthy tip. Then I did it.

With the looming inauguration of a man who represents the ultimate in self aggrandizing and greed – in addition to signing the tab – I wrote #RESIST on the bill.

I wandered back to my hotel and thought about an old Upright Citizen’s Brigade sketch. Ass pennies.

If you are unfamiliar with the sketch give it a watch here. It’s brilliant.

In summary, it’s about a “power player” who – in order to feel like he is getting the upper hand on people that he is negotiating with – has been stuffing pennies up his ass for 11 years and then circulating them.

When he is in a tough negotiation, he is inspired with confidence because there’s a great chance that the person he is engaged with has, in his or her pocket, pennies that have been up his ass.

So, here’s what I’m doing. I am going to speak my mind with the only thing that I KNOW President Trump respects – MONEY.

Every dollar bill, five dollar bill, ten dollar bill, etc…

Every credit card tab and every check (yeah I still write them every once in awhile).

They will all have #RESIST written on them if they pass through my hands. It is a perfectly legal way to circulate our intent to stand firmly against ANY attempt by the current administration to revoke our rights:

  • to choose
  • to speak our minds
  • to a free press

for  protection of:

  • our environment
  • equality and equity for every citizen
  • each individual’s right to love and marry whomever they choose

 

So, consider this an invitation to join me:

Spread the wealth and #RESIST

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Heroes

I came home and decided to play some loud music and do some chores.

I put on “Heroes” by Bowie to start it out.

Somehow it ended up on repeat and I’ve now listened to it 7 times in a row and it’s the best thing that could have happened this morning.

Today is a shitty day for all of us- some of us know it and have been screaming since the election. A lot of Americans just don’t know it yet.

This election and presidency is representative of the worst in all of us. It boils down to selfishness – which I believe is at the heart of all human beings.

We are selfish petty animals. We start that way as babies – grabbing for what we want. It’s our life’s ambition to move beyond that. To find empathy and compassion for others.

I have a plan of attack for the next 4 years. I hope you do too.

Be a hero – just for one day. Then another. And then another…

“We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day”

-David Bowie, Heroes

 

If We Want to Fight Against Trump, We Have to Know What We’re Fighting For | The Nation

Many of the folks I know are getting ready to play serious defense in 2017, and they’re not wrong. Before we take up our three-point stance on the national line of scrimmage, however, maybe we should ask ourselves not only what we’re fighting against but what we’re fighting for.

Source: If We Want to Fight Against Trump, We Have to Know What We’re Fighting For | The Nation

New Year. New Post.

Yeah, I know. I’m terrible at this.

We’re gonna try this one more time.

This year is pretty important. After the election and loss of a lifetime and the seemingly weekly demise of a generation of heroes you smell the boil. Mmm… 2017…

I’m inclined to say it smells like the morning after a dumpster fire but I need to start being positive.

It smells like the morning after a dumpster fire after a fresh snow.

In less than 3 weeks it will take office. A defining moment in US history is beginning. The change wrought by millions of people who have no idea what they’ve done to themselves will take place (although we’re seeing repercussions already- ie Congress eliminating the ethics office).

This year’s theme is active participation in local government, charities and activism but it all revolves around this moment. This moment will define us as a society and me as a human being.

We had a moment – collectively – to rise and be a nation who cares about ALL the people under its protection. We had a moment to fight against ignorance through understanding and education. We had a moment to fight corruption and cronyism through vigilant media coverage and investigation. We had a moment to elect a different type of candidate who actually believes that all people have a right to live how they want, to make a decent wage and that our environment is not cost of doing business.

Instead – ignorance and greed are having their moments and the earth and We The People may pay the price for it.

The only thing I can think to do now is to start having our moments again over the next 4 years. They may be small moments and not on a federal level but hopefully through their summary – the will add up enough to stand up against the bully and his pack of sycophants that will take office on January 20.

So-

  • Participate in local party activity.
  • Concentrate on 2018.
  • Monthly charity acts are in the plans
  • Local civic activism for social justice and environmental causes
  • Participate in my community government

Resist. Resist. Resist.

Whenever possible and necessary I will stand up to be counted among the voices against these forces that will try to  turn our planet into a consumable or limit any citizen’s liberties and protections.

I will be organizing or circulating events that do the above. I hope to see you soon.

Until then – Happy New Year.

Donuts!!Tacos!!Beer!! (Death Ride) REDUX!

9:45-10ish Meet at freewheel on the greenway; coffee and mingle. Wait for Trevor…
10:15ish Ride to Bogart’s Donuts via greenway and then up Bryant. Eat their donuts. Drink their coffee. 
11:30ish Bike to lakes. Ride around lakes back to greenway. Because biking through them would be messy. 
Take cedar lake trail across town to NE Minneapolis. Stop at the yacht club (12-12:30ish) for a tall boy. Breakfast is over people. We’re moving on to brunch. 

Bike to Rusty Taco. Consume their tacos. Leave about 1:30ish. 
At this point, we may negotiate a brew stop. Majority rules. Cause democracy gawdammit. 
We’ve lost our sense of time by now. Cause cyclists. Head down 5th to dinkytown. Take the extension and then cut over to river road. 
We’ll end up crossing the river and head to Omnium for their funky taco party. There we will demand funk and tacos. 
If we’re still hankering for riding, beering, or tacoing we will create a mad mad plan then. Otherwise, you are released into the wild. 
No breaking of ankles allowed. No pathleticism required. Feats of hijinxery are appreciated but not necessary. #CO2W #SaturdaySermon 

#Bikeschool tonight 8pm CST: Motivation, Perspiration, Inspiration & Aspirations

It’s been a while since I’ve proffed a #bikeschool and this was sort of a last minute sign-up. It will be good to suit up in the tweed kit though. I had been playing around all week with possible themes and decided to open it up to the twitterati. Right off the bat someone suggested asking about the #bikeschool crowd’s motivations.

Personally, this has been a rough winter for cycling for me. I just haven’t had the drive that I’ve had in the past. While we haven’t had the snow of winter’s past here in Minnesota, the cold has been brutal. It’s been far too easy to stay curled up in bed under a layer of blankets instead of layering up and heading out the door. It’s also been pretty easy to tip back a few richer beers to wash down good hearty stews and comfort food…

That being said- there have been several jaunts out into the cold with friends- even a few longer rides. In January I went down to Vegas for my annual software conference where I get to ride the Red Rock Loop. It was gorgeous this year with blue skies and 60s. This ride usually gets me to start thinking about a few things-

  • My kits are really tight now
  • I’m breathing really heavy
  • I miss being in the sun and outside
  • I’m breathing really heavy
  • Spring is on the horizon
  • I’m breathing really heavy
  • My kits are really tight now

So, this week at #Bikeschool we’re going to do something about this. Let’s pump up the tires and put the rubber side down.

This week we’re going to explore Motivation, Perspiration, Aspiration & Inspiration.

I hope you can join me and a great crew as we roll out at 8PM CST. As always I recommend #Tweetchat or #Tweetdeck for watching the hashtag #Bikeschool. I’ll ask the questions like this-

“Q1 Do you like puppies and kitties? #bikeschool”

And you tag your answers with either an A or a Q like this-

“Q1 Hell yeah I like puppies! They’re delicious! #bikeschool”

See? It’s easy! Tweet to you tonight!

Rob

What a Dumpling!

We took our first cooking class ever last night – “What a Dumpling!”

Amanda got us a cooking class at Cooks of Crocus Hill for xmas this year so we hot footed it across town to the Edina location. I know… Edina. Uhg.

The class was great! Stellar! Fun! All dumpling fare!

There was a Bao, a German dumpling in maple bacon – I’ll say it again: maple bacon – an egg roll (eh- technically not a dumpling but ok) and a delicious Gundi which was soft with bits of chicken mixed in and floating in a chicken broth – for sure on the first to do list. I wanna make the Bao again too because I don’t think it was that great last night but mostly due to execution. I also wanna make the filling more juicy and shredded.

Terry Zila – the instructor – was vibrant, informative and entertaining. He kept up a good blend of demonstration, instruction, participation and discussion. He was very open to questions outside the realm of the class. He even had some advice for our Zoodles.

The other participants were really enthusiastic too. There was lovely little man visiting from up state New York who just happened to wander into the store and then signed up for the class on a whim. Some of the folks may have had too much wine… not saying who- but looking at you lady from Red Wing…

At times it was a little rushed but I get it. Can’t be there all night.

All in all- it was a great time and I’d definitely do it again. Maybe something like Japanese or Middle Eastern.

Introductions

High above the silver shore, Ned gazed down the side of the sheer cliff trying to make his eyes adjust between the dark night sky and echo of the moon on the rolling waves below. Midway to the bottom, a warm glow seeped into the night. When the winds grew calm, occasional laughter would lift its way up along with the low rumble of men’s voices.

Ned steadied himself with a hand in the low grass at the edge of the cliff as he knelt. He could feel the dew form. He turned his head back towards his own encampment just a mile or so away. The winds were calming and the taller grass through which he’d approached were only bobbing to and fro gently. It was time to start back. He’d seen enough and could report with all earnest and confidence that the band which he sought was indeed taking rest in the cliffs’s caves.

The only question remaining was whether her highness was among them.

First Snow 2014

Of course we were all a buzz about it. Minnesotans seem more panicked about snowfalls in recent years. We’ve allowed modern times and rhetoric laced with “arctic”, “plunge” and “vortex” seep into our winter lexicon and it’s now poisoned our stern resolve when winter hits. We used shrug and say “Oh, well” but now we run out to Target like panicked squirrels.

For me the first snow is like a Christmas gift from your Aunt. It’s a gift – which is exciting – but you know it’s still gonna be kind of shitty.

So it’s back to #winterbiking. We put away the road bike. It has its home on the rollers. We get out the box of deep cold coverage- the lobster gloves, the 45Nrth boots, the balaclava. We cover ourselves in merino and felt lined super suits. Ready yourself for that first 1/2 hour or frozen fingers and toes.

Monday it was actively snowing. It took a bit to get home from work and I had to hurry my ride because my girlfriend was coming over that night. We usually get together Mondays.

I squirmed into my tights and got out the ol’ boots. Lights were charged. Ready to rock.

I rode my “new” Surly 1×1 that I picked up this summer. I didn’t change out the tires to studs yet. I figured the snow was fresh and it wasn’t too cold so I would be good.

None of the bike trails were plowed though so I was forced to ride in the street for most of the ride which is pretty nerve wracking this early in the year. It’s dark and cars aren’t yet used to driving in this kind of weather quite yet either.

Last night’s ride was much cooler. The trails had been plowed at some point so there was only about 2 inches of snow down. It was pretty roughed up in places- especially along the roads- but once I got into the Snail Lake Regional Park it was awesome. The only sound I could hear was the snow cracking under my tires and my own whispered singing. I think I started in on The Sound of Silence at one point.

It just felt good to be out. The major hiccups were my lights and cleats. My front light was immediately flashing at me for the battery indicator. It’s a 300 lumen Serfas that’s a couple years old. It might need replacing this year. I have added a Black Diamond Revolt headlamp this year too. It’s ok. Not a whole lot of light at only 80 lumens but it helps when it’s on the high beam setting. It fits nicely into the goggle strap clip on my helmet.

The cleats are going to be a constant battle. I ended the year last year completely limp and forgot to switch them around the first night. I adjusted them yesterday but it was still not right. I just can never seem to get comfy on the pedals. I might switch to platforms for the winter. The 45Nrth boots would be great on the platforms too. Just need to save my knees this winter.

Last night was great but there are still sections of snow that are just too deep for the 1×1’s 2 inch tires. So… I’m looking at fat bikes now. Yep. I said I’d never do it. But I might.

So we begin again… again.

After months off and retiring my newer site, I’ve decided to startup the ol’ Robblahg.wordpress.com site again.

I won’t bore you with the details but you can read why I migrated in the first place here. Suffice to say- I wasn’t diligent enough with the other “paid” site and it wasn’t worth keeping it up. So we’re back here on wordpress.com.

Lots been happening and there’s a lot more to come. It’s good to be back.